Mr Ephraim Sheyin, the Head of Lagos Office, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), has tasked journalists to work as a team to advance the profession in the country.
Sheyin gave the advice on Wednesday at a send-off organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), NAN Lagos chapel, for retired staff of the agency.
The retirees are Mr Taju Atitebi, Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Head of Editorial; Mr Peter Ejiofor, Deputy Editor-in-Chief/Head of Sports; Mr Fela Fasoro, Assistant Editor-in-Chief and Mr Emmanuel Okara, Senior Editor.
“We have a duty to work together. Journalism is about team work and that is why the reporters going to look for the stories, the editor looking at the story and the controller agreeing with all their arguments, facts and publish the story.
“When I entered Lagos, I heard so much about those that had worked here and what people feel about them.
“I was telling Fasoro that a lot of good things were said about him.
“I also met Mr Okara briefly when I came, but he is the kind of person that will tell you as it is.
“I like the people that will tell you exactly the way it is and that way there is no pretences,” he said.
According to him, when you have a leader and you have intelligent people to work with in a group, the challenges will be quickly solved.
He urged members of staff to always offer useful advice and tell one another the truth about the job.
“For example, as Fasoro is here, he should be able to tell you from his heart, if you are doing well or his ashamed or proud of you.
“So, let us try to work together as I have always said, let us be able to speak with each other. If you work on my story as a reporter for instance and you don’t like the story, talk to the reporter.
“Reporters are our junior so we should be able to guide them and even as leaders, try to communicate with each other,” he added.
Mr Babatunde Abdulfatah, DEIC and Head of the Newsroom, advised those in service to emulate the senior colleagues that have retired.
“What we are doing today is a reflection of the kind of human relationship that they maintained with us when they were in service.
“Each and everyone of us will reach our bus stop at one time or the other, but before we reach that retirement time, it is important that we maintain cordial relationship with one another.
“So that when we also leave the stage, those we are leaving behind will have a good history to tell about us,” he said.
Mr Yunus Yusuf, Chairman, NUJ NAN Lagos chapel, said that the union decided to celebrate the retirees because of their exemplary leadership while in service.
“We are celebrating them today because they impacted positively to the development of the newsroom.
“They have done well and everybody can attest to it.
“We assure you that under our watch as executives of this chapel, we will be ready to assist you in any way possible as the ocassion arises,” Yusuf said.
Mr Wale Ojetimi, DEIC and Head Metro Desk, congratulated the retirees for their meritorious years of service in the agency.
“I’ve known Mr Fasoro for a long time when he was posted to take over from me as District Correspondent in
Iseyin, Oyo State, in 1992.
“Since then we have remained very good friends and I thank God for his life and I wish him a very successful time in his future endeavours.
“Okara is also special to me, he is a jolly good fellow and a very jovial person to be with. May God continue to bless you and perfect your ways as you move on to the next level of your life,” Ojetimi said.
Mrs Bola Akingbehin, Vice Chairman, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), South-West Zone, commended the retirees for mentoring the junior colleagues while in service.
“We also thank God for the life you lived here before your retirement. You mentored us and gave selfless service to the agency,” Akingbehin said.
Also speaking, Mrs Ope Adebisi, Acting Head of Administration, Lagos Office, wished them well in retirement.
Mr Deji Fadipe, Chairman, Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), NAN, Lagos chapter, commended the organiser for celebrating the retirees.
Fadipe, however, urged the management to revive the long service award to celebrate serving and retired staff.
“It expedient that we bring back those good old days that we celebrate ourselves,” he said.
Fasoro, while thanking the union for honouring them, expressed happinesss to be in the midst of his colleagues where he once served.
“I thank you for your support and celebrating us that have retired.
“I hope that the management will duly consider celebrating retired members of the agency that have put in meritorious years of service,” he said.
On his part, Okara, thanked his colleagues for the comradeship, noting that “just as I believe that I impacted in some of my colleagues here, they also impacted on me.
“I might not have pleased everyone here but I tried to get on with everybody, I thank you all very much.” (NAN)