From Kemi Yesufu
The First Lady of Nigeria, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Senator Ahmed Yerima and the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari and former minister of State for Science and Technology, Pauline Tallen, were among the dignitaries who led the way to official launch of The Presidential Diary Magazine. The launch of the monthly magazine was held in Abuja on Tuesday, October 17. As with events that have the presence of the matriarch of the presidential villa, the public presentation of the journal that catalogues the activities of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was characterized by glamour and high fashion. Speaker Dogara was represented at the event by Chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, Timothy Golu.
The event anchored by ace compere, Andy Gabriel, came to life with the speech by Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo. The Vice-President’s wife, who represented Hajiya Aisha, emphasised the importance of always reminding the media, why it must live up to expectations. She observed that some Nigerians might not leave their communities all of their lives, but know about happenings across the world through media reports.
“I want us to know how important words are. Beyond the things we see, words are the next most important thing. The education we have comes as a result of the pains we have had. Journalists tell us the things we all know collectively,” she said.
“We must not underestimate their importance in our country. It is easy to say something but hard to put it down in writing. I implore all of you, journalists, to do your work with the gravitas that it requires.
“Some people never leave the radius of their community or nation till the day they die but through your work, you are able to expose to them the things that they cannot see with their eyes.
“For this reason, I commend you and implore you to continue with this good work. So much is being done that people do not hear about. From today, you should know how much we all rely on you and depend on you. You are the ones who can bring the gladness to the hearts of Nigerians”, she stressed. Upon giving her heartfelt advice, Mrs. Osinbajo led other dignitaries to cut the second anniversary cake of The Presidential Diary Magazine.
While chairman of the Editorial Board of the magazine, Alhaji Mohammed Tukur kept his welcome address short, the initiator / editorial adviser to the magazine, Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, took time to explain why a journal to chronicle actives of the presidency was established.
Jimoh, the popular spokesman of NAFDAC, disclosed that aside from giving detailed coverage of interventions from the president and his team, job creation is a major goal of the magazine. He expressed sadness over the fact that many journalists are owed salaries, even as they work in fear of losing their jobs as a number of media houses struggle to stay in business.
According to him, the Buhari administration has made a lot of progress and the success stories of the Federal Government needs to be told by a team of reporters, fully dedicated to doing this. “There is a huge gap between government and the governed, in terms of information . Government is doing a lot, but people have to be made to understand, what and why government is making certain interventions. This is where The Presidential Diary magazine comes-in”, Jimoh said.
Former Edo State commissioner for Information, Kasim Afegbua delivered the anniversary lecture, “Democracy, Instability and Development”. He maintained that sustaining democracy starts with transparency and accountability from those elected or appointed into public office. He also opined that internal democracy in party parties is crucial to recruiting leaders, who can advance the culture of democracy. He noted that money politics has made it very difficult for the right kind of leaders to emerge in the country.
He said: “internal democracy is almost absent in Nigerian political parties, just as credible primaries are almost forbidden. When you see primaries being televised live, have it at the back of your minds, that the process has been concluded. The razzmatazz is just to present a script to the public”.
On his part, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who was represented by Juliet Ibeakwu, assured that the president who was elected on the promise to reduce corruption drastically, hasn’t lost sight of the wishes of the electorate. Stressing that the Federal Government is open to partnering with the media to confront corruption, he assured his office will utilise the resources available to it in the implementation of national strategy on fighting corruption.