By Chukwuma Ajakah
The Dean of Lagos State University School of Communication, Prof. Yinka Alawode, has implored the government to liaise with the media to get the public and all strata of the society adequately informed about its policies and sundry issues relating to effective and sustainable management of the environment.
Prof Alawode made the call yesterday at the Lagos State University School of Communication’s 6th Annual Faculty Lecture which held at LASU main campus in Ojo, Lagos.
Welcoming the guests to the 2022 edition of the lecture series tagged “Climate Change, Urban Renewal and Environmental Challenges of Megacity: What Role for the Media?” the Dean, School of Communication, Prof. Alawode said the theme was chosen to deliberate on the need for synergy in tackling flooding, high temperature, low-line topography and other pressing environmental problems prevalent in Lagos as a megacity with emphasis on the role of the media.
While commending the Lagos State Government for consistently making concerted efforts towards maintaining an ideal habitable environment, the Dean also called on the media to increase awareness among residents on climate change and related hazards occasioned by emissions that make the air unhealthy.
Speaking at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji Bello, represented by the DVC Administration, Professor Adenike Boyo, remarked that the media is one of the most powerful agencies that play a major role in environmental changes. “As we travel in this climate change, combating the negative impacts,” she said, “the media has a role to play in bringing a voice to the community affected by climate change.”
Highlighting the challenges of climate change, the Chairman of the occasion, HRM Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, the Ikusenla III, Elegushi of Ikate land, through his representative, Chief G. O. Bakare, decried the pathetic environmental situation in Lagos, saying: “We have a long way to go, but the journey has started. Education is a key to positive change.”
The Oba asked for a more productive way of engaging social media platforms against environmental degradation, saying “Let’s look for interesting topics, including those on improving the environment, instead of just using the social media for fun, posting pictures with no relevant messages to environmental issues.”
Emphasizing the importance of recycling wastes, the Royal Father implored the students and other participants to seek ways of preserving the environment, saying “there are social media apps you can use to dispose your wastes and even make money from them.”
He revealed that “The palace has been supporting a lot of movements engaged in preserving the environment and recently organised sensitization outreaches at select primary schools in Eti-Osa on waste recycling.”
Dignitaries that attended the event include Dean Social Sciences, Hon. James Abiodun Folake, the Guest Speaker, Hon. Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello who was represented by Assistant Director/ HoD, Climate Change and Environmental Planning Department, who spoke extensively on the topic, challenging the media to help propagate the actions of government and report the positive while educating the public about the dangers of destroying the environment. “Our door as a government is open, give us the voice and make the people in power accountable, but fact-check records before going to press,” he said.