Politics

June 18, 2023

NGE President: Tinubu, govs, others hail emergence of Eze Anaba

Eze Anaba

Eze Anaba

…as new leader promises media reforms

By Our Reporters

President Bola Tinubu, governors, other eminent Nigerians and pressure groups, yesterday, described the emergence of the Editor of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr Eze Anaba, as President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, as a positive development for the nation.

They said Anaba’s experience in the media would advance the cause of the Guild and journalism in general.

Anaba polled 250 votes at the 2023 Biennial Convention of NGE in Owerri, to defeat his opponent, Bolaji Adebiyi of Thisday Newspapers, who got 81 votes.

Until his emergence, he was the Social and Publicity Secretary of the Guild.

Those who congratulated Anaba include the governor of Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, Rivers State Governor, Siminialayi Fubara, Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State and Bayelsa State governor, Duoye Diri.

Others are ex-member of the House of Representatives, Temi Harriman, immediate past President of the body, Mustapha Isah, Adebiyin and Ndigboamaka Progressives Market Association.

While congratulating Anaba, Tinubu described the election as a milestone in the evolution of journalism in Nigeria.

He said the peaceful conduct of the election sent a resounding message to the larger Nigerian polity that elections for desired offices can be intensely competed for without degenerating into bitterness and needless malice.

President Tinubu said this in a statement by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Mr. Dele Alake.

Democratic culture

The statement reads: “The last Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) was an epochal milestone in the evolution of the journalism profession in Nigeria. An event that witnessed the election of new officers of the Guild to guide the affairs of the organisation for the next two years, it is most gratifying that the outcome was successful and rancour-free despite the intensity of the contest for the various positions competed for.

On behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR), I congratulate the newly elected President of the Guild, Mr Eze Anamba, Editor of the Vanguard Newspapers and wish him and other newly elected officials of the guild a most fulfilling and productive tenure in office.

“By its peaceful and rancour-free conduct of elections to elect its new officers, the NGE has sent a resounding message to the larger Nigerian polity that elections for desired offices can be intensely competed for without degenerating into bitterness, acrimony and needless malice.

Democratic culture

“In this regard, Mr. President commends those who lost out in the elections at various levels such as Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi of ThisDay newspaper for accepting the outcome and pledging support for the winners. This is a light that the NGE is showing that the rest of us may find the way to a mature, tolerant, stable and sustainable democratic culture.

“It is of the utmost importance that the various unions in the newspaper industry such as the NGE, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) imbibe the ethos of internal democracy in support of professional integrity for the benefit of good governance, stability and sustainability development in Nigeria. The NGE has, in this regard, made a strong statement for the Nigerian media as a worthy exemplar. But then, elections are not held within the unions in our profession just for the sake of holding elections to appoint new officers of associational offices. Rather, the larger picture is to ensure at all times that we place the profession in a prime position to continually fulfil its constitutional obligation of serving as a watchdog of the people in checking the excesses of government and promoting the greatest good of the greatest number of our people.

Imperialism

“The history of the Nigerian media has, since its epochal role in the struggle against colonial imperialism, been intimately intertwined with the fate of the Nigerian state and her peoples. The press was active in the struggle against military dictatorship in post-colonial Nigeria and this opposition to autocracy was particularly exemplified in the fierce opposition of patriotic media practitioners to the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Chief MKO Abiola. It is impossible to write the history of the democratic benefits we have enjoyed since the commencement of this dispensation in 1999 without emblazoning the heroic contributions of patriotic sections of the media in gold.

“But President Tinubu insists that the challenges ahead of the media in playing its role towards strengthening our democracy, keeping power continually in check as well as promoting good, responsible and accountable governance are greater than the paths traversed before. He pledges the support of his administration in collaboration with the media towards achieving these lofty objectives in the best interest of our country.’’

His contributions to journalism are significant —Oborevwori

Governor Oborevwori in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Festus Ahon, lauded the theme of the convention: “Post- 2023 election: Promoting Professionalism for Enhancement of Democracy and Good Governance.”

He said the thrust was apt for the enhancement of democracy and good governance by national and sub-national governments.

Oborevwori added that members of the Guild deserved accolades for electing Anaba as President due to his significant contributions to journalism.

His leadership will aid devt of journalism —Fubara

On his part, Fubara in a statement by his media aide, Boniface Onyedi, said the emergence of Anaba would boost media development and enhance social harmony in Nigeria.

His words: “For electing a man of Anaba’s calibre, seasoned journalist and professional with enormous experience, I pray, without a doubt that Anaba will utilise his new position as President of the guild to promote social harmony and development of our nation.”

The governor further urged members of NGE to prioritise national interest by upholding truth and fairness at all times.

Anaba’s committed to press freedom —-Eno

Similarly, Governor Eno, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ekerete Udoh, expressed confidence that Anaba would promote press freedom.

His words: “I am pleased with your overwhelming victory, which is a testament to the trust and professional judgement your colleagues and peers have in you.

“We are heartened by your avowed commitment to continue to promote press freedom and objective reportage, and we stand ready to work with you and your Executive Committee to advance the cause of journalism in Nige “Once again, on behalf of the Government and people of Akwa Ibom State, I congratulate you.”

He’s a good man—Isah

On his part, Isah urged NGE members to support the new leadership of the Guild, describing Anaba as a good man.

His words: “I want to thank the distinguished members of our great NGE for the love and support you gave to me during my tenure as your President. The modest achievements we recorded were made possible because of your support.

‘’Electing me to serve you was a privilege which I will never forget.’’

While conceding defeat, Adebiyi wished Anaba a successful tenure.

He said: “I have received the outcome of the presidential election and congratulate the winner, Eze Anaba. I wish him a successful tenure. I also congratulate the winners of the other positions and wish them a successful tenure. I thank you for your support.”

Ndigboamaka Progressive Markets Association, which is the umbrella body of major market associations in Lagos, pledged its support to the new NGE leadership.

The platform said this in a statement by its President, Comrade Chinedu Ukatu.

He said: “Ndigboamaka Markets Association will continue to partner with Eze Anaba for a greater nation, especially for the development of trade and the well-being of the trading community.’’

I will lead the campaign for reforms of outdated media laws —Anaba

Earlier in his acceptance speech, the new NGE President, said his vision for the Guild is encapsulated in a five-point agenda, pledging to build on past successes and accomplishments.

Anaba particularly promised to lead the campaign for necessary reforms of outdated media laws that tend to undermine media freedom and the operations of media houses in Nigeria.

His words: “I would like to thank you all for this enormous privilege and honour. I am so humbled that you have put your trust in me to lead our Guild at this challenging time.

I want to congratulate other members of the exco who have also just been elected.

Let me pay tribute to my fellow candidate, for a hard-fought campaign. We disagreed on a number of things he may have said during the campaign. Nonetheless, I wish him well and the very best of luck in the future.

“I also want to thank our outgoing president, for his leadership and shaping the direction for our Guild. I appreciate your achievements and promise to build on them.

I am in no doubt as to what my election means. In the course of the campaign we have just had, I set out a 5-point agenda that I believe our Guild needs to build on past successes and accomplishments. I promise to deliver on my 5-point agenda.

So, my election is a mandate to advance the integrity and authority of our Guild and influence debate on press and broadcasting freedom, ethics and the culture and business of news media.

Improved conditions

“I believe there is an even greater obligation on us, on me, to ensure the empowerment of editors and other journalists through supporting and encouraging training of editors and other journalists from across the country.

I will also prioritise and focus on leading the campaign for necessary reforms of outdated media laws that tend to undermine media freedom and the operations of media houses in Nigeria, and for improved conditions, and enhancing the relationship between our Guild and public agencies and regional and international stakeholders, partners and donors.

“We need to protect the interest and operations of broadcast and print media houses, and promote and encourage the involvement and participation of our members in the decision-making process and Guild’s activities.”

“On top of that, we need to strengthen the capacity of our Guild to provide legal support to members who may face any legal threat, harassment and intimidation.

From talking to you, from meeting you, and from hearing your concerns over the past few months, I am clear as to the direction that I believe we wish to go, and I will do everything to work with all of you to achieve our Guild’s vision and mission and to ensure the support we all need to flourish in our profession at a profoundly important socio-political and economic realities and developments in our country today.”