Former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, has called on journalists and media houses to be united in resisting the Hate Speech Bill before the Senate.
Osoba, a journalist, stated this, yesterday, at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, during the launch of “The Gatekeepers” and “160 Years of Nigerian Journalism” authored by O’ Femi Kolawole.
The author chronicled the lives and works of 20 editors that had contributed immensely in the development of Nigeria’s democracy by speaking truth to power.
The former governor expressed the shock that the Bill had scaled though the first and second reading in the Senate. He, therefore, charged media practitioners to storm the National Assembly when the bill comes up for public hearing to revolt against it. According to him, the bill held inherent dangers to the media if passed into law. Osoba said the bill must be killed before getting to the committee level for consideration.
He, however, regretted how untrained bloggers and other internet users have invaded social media platforms throwing away the basic rudiments of journalism in their work.
Osoba said he was not out to defend the atrocities of some of the social media users as their impunity and blackmail had become worrisome.
He charged trained and professional journalists to take over the online platform by publishing investigative stories, which would serve as the alternative for social media users.
Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, one of the editors chronicled in the book, commended the author for his persistence and professionalism in the course of sourcing materials for the book. He praised Osoba, who was the chairman of the occasion, saying he brought light to journalism and showed his contemporaries and subordinates the way to follow.
“Chief Osoba is a man we are all proud of because from journalism he became a governor. Today, we use him as a reference point. As a governor, he excelled because all the ills he preached against as a journalist, he tried to correct them when he was elected.”
Onuoha said journalists do so much for the country, but were the least appreciated. He reminded those gathered how journalists fought and put their lives on the line during the June 1