National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former commissioner for Information in Ondo State, Dr Eddy Olafeso, has blamed the security challenges confronting the country on the struggle for political power among the political class, which has led to the formation of different terrorism groups.
Olafeso, who was delivering a lecture titled, “Nigeria’s Security Challenges, the Media and Blame Game” as parts of activities marking the Special Press Week on the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Ondo State Council, lamented the failure of security agencies to identify the forces behind them, their grouses or long term goals.
Highlighting some of the issues threatening the existence of Nigeria, which included boko haram, herdsmen militia and various cult groups, the PDP chieftain said these crises have long been with Nigeria as a nation and the leaders have failed to either address or ameliorate them.
Some journalists who, on the occasion, received NUJ professional awards included, Isaac Afolabi of Radio Nigeria Positive FM as Sports Reporter of the Year, 2017 (electronics), Segun Giwa of NAN as Sports Reporter of the year (Print), Hakeem Gbadamosi of Nigerian Tribune as Investigative Reporter (print) and Sunmola Olowookere of The Hope Newspaper as the Judicial Reporter (print).
Others were Cameraman of the Year, Omobomi Oguntolu, Information Officer of the Year, Folasade Olatinpo of Akure South Local government, and the Grassroots reporter of the Year (print), Iyiade Akinseye of Alaroye Newspaper.
Some public figures also received awards of excellence including Dr Samson Odedina, provost of the Federal College of Agriculture as distinguished Educationist and Administrator; Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, who was made life patron of the Union and the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Deaconess Lola Fagbemi for consistent political ideology.
Others are Sir Ademola Adetula, the former managing director of Owena Press Limited, who was conferred with Award of Distinguished Journalist; Alhaji Tajudeen Adefisoye, who was conferred with the award for philanthropic and community services and member of the House of Representatives from Okitipupa/Irele; Hon Mike Omogbehin, who was honoured with Award of Quality Representation.
Olafeso therefore challenged Journalists in the country to point out the variables contributing to the security challenges confronting the nation without fear or fervour.
The PDP leader noted that, “The media must bring to the fore, every variable that contributed to this odious development and situate the blames and responsibility at every door step, that is the essence of investigative journalism.”
In his address, the State Chairman of NUJ, James Sowole, reiterated the readiness of the union to continuously prioritise the welfare of its members especially in the area of capacity building and urged them to embrace unity for the greatness of the union.
The National President of NUJ, Mr Waheed Odusile, who was represented by his vice in B Zone, Mr Cosmas Oni, charged members of the union to shun acts that could belittle the profession in the eye of the public while appealing to all qualified members who are yet to be captured in the NUJ biometrics registration to do so to help get rid of quackery in the profession.
Dignitaries at the event included the wife of the state governor, Arabirin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu; representative of the Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladelusi; the Edemo of Akure, High Chief Afolabi Feyehun; Prof Olu Aboluwoye, former commissioner for Environment, Chief Sola Ebiseni among others.