GOVERNOR Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, warned of an urgent need for Nigeria to change course, or risk greater danger, security-wise.
The governor noted that recent occurrences, including the EndSARS protests, have given clear indications that Nigeria needed to change its course.
Governor Makinde, who stated this at the Dapo Aderogba Hall of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, while declaring open the 2020 Press Week, maintained that if the country refuses to change its course on the state of security, “no one will be spared.”
The governor said: “I believe some of you journalists here covered those events (hijacking of the EndSARS protests and looting) and can tell the stories first hand. If there is one thing you took away from that event, it is that no one is really safe if Nigeria continues to travel the current path.
“If we continue on this path, no one will be spared. So, we have to make up our minds that we need to change course. Therefore, everyone has a role to play in bringing about development in our country.”
Makinde, who spoke on the theme: ‘Journalists and the Development of Underdevelopment in Nigeria’, noted that journalists have a lot to do in the development of the country, warning, however, that they must discharge the duty of informing the population with responsibility.
He said: “The theme you have chosen for this year’s engagement is quite timely. Global events in the year 2020 have further exposed the need for development in the underdeveloped world.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic was first identified as a worldwide threat, public commentators were worried about the impact the pandemic would have on African nations. Our poor healthcare and sanitation systems seemed to point to higher levels of devastation than in the developed world.
“So far, a combination of factors has minimised the overall medical impact of the pandemic on our continent. We have had fewer reported deaths than in other parts of the world. However, we could not dodge the economic consequences, which is partly why Nigeria is facing another recession in the third quarter of 2020.
“The economic effects of the pandemic can also be partially blamed for the level of looting and banditry that followed the EndSARS protests about a month ago. People everywhere were hungry and angry.”
“Everyone has a role to play in bringing about development in our country. Of course, no one expects journalists to build roads, hospitals, or provide other infrastructure – that is the primary responsibility of the government. But that does not mean you do not have a role to play. We all know that information is a weapon.
In his welcome address, chairman of the NUJ in Oyo State, Mr. Demola Babalola, urged the governor to support the ongoing efforts of the union to provide shelter for the members through a landed property secured in Ajia.