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Why govt must not regulate media – Ex-envoy

The immediate past Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sarafa Isola, on Friday called for a self-regulation of the media rather than the government’s control.

Isola spoke on Friday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, during the first year in office of the executive and inauguration of projects by the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Ogun Council.

The first anniversary featured a lecture titled “Security and Media: A Partnership for National Development.”

The former envoy, who is the chairman on the occasion, noted that a self-regulated media would perform its role professionally and earn the respect of society.

Isola expressed concern that both traditional and social media have been polluted and urged professionals in the industry to self-regulate to salvage the sector.

He also charged journalists to report accurately with the mindset of protecting national security.

Isola warned against the abuse of social media, saying it should be used for networking and promotion of good narrative.

Isola said, “Yes, news can be reported, but the ambiance of the national security is important. Why? Because the world is now a global village.

“When we were young, we used to see people like (Olusegun) Osoba, (Felix) Adenaike, and Peter Ajayi, we used to call them three musketeers and the profession was well respected.

“I don’t believe in the government regulation of the media, but I believe in self-regulation, just for you to earn your respect and maintain a reputation. Journalists are well respected across the world.

“And since this is the cradle (referring to Ogun NUJ) of journalism in Nigeria, you have a responsibility to do that.”

The former Minister of Mines and Steel Development applauded both local and international media for contributing towards his successful administration in the United Kingdom.

Delivering the lecture virtually, the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, noted that the challenges and opportunities presented by the security and media partnership are “dynamic and ever-evolving.”

He also noted that responsible journalism “serves not only to inform but also to hold security agencies accountable, ensuring that the public remains aware of the measures being taken to ensure their safety.”

Adejobi added: “As Nigeria continues its journey toward national development, the collaboration between security forces and the media stands as a cornerstone.

“The path ahead is challenging, but with determination and a united effort, Nigeria will navigate these challenges and secure a safer and more prosperous future for its citizens and the global community.”

In his welcome address, the State Chairman of NUJ, ‘Wale Olanrewaju noted that the anniversary showcased the unity and common front in the last year after four years of crisis and division among members of the union.

He said his administration would continue to build on the achievements recorded and form a stronger collaboration to explore endless potentials before journalists in the state.

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