From YINKA FABOWALE, GBENGA ADESUYI, Ibadan and AKIN ALOFETEKUN, Minna
The Deputy Managing Director of The Sun Publishing Company, Mr. Femi Adesina yesterday emerged the new president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. Adesina was elected head of the 16 man executive to run the affairs of the over 250 member strong body for the next two years at the end of its two-day convention in Ibadan, Oyo State . He polled 149 votes to defeat his opponent Tukur AbdulRahmen who garnered 57 votes in an election in which two votes were voided.
Elected alongside Adesina to pilot the affairs of the Guild for the next two years were Suleiman Uba Gaya, Victor Agusiobo, Steve Ayorinde as Vice-President, North, East and West respectively. Others were Isaac Ighure, Mustapha Isa, Ogbang Akwaji and Funke Egbemode as Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and Social/Publicity Secretary, while Ali Hakeem and Sebastin Abu were elected as standing committee members. There was however a snag as Aisha Sule, who was elected theDeputy-President by 137 votes against her opponent, Ken Njoku who polled a paltry 57 votes had announced her withdrawal from the race shortly before the commencement of voting.
Immediately after the results were announced by the Returning Officer, Mohammed Haruna, he announced the receipt of a petition by Njoku, canvassing for his return as the winner of the election since his opponent had withdrawn from the race, a request turned down by the Electoral Officer and pushed to the new Executive Council sworn-in immediately. In his post elction speech, Adesina dedicated his victory to his colleagues , who he noted broke away from primordial , tribal and religious sentiments as reflected in the pattern of voting and wished this could be emulated and transposed into the Nigeria national politics.
His words: “I want to thank my colleagues for the confidence they reposed in me. I salute the Nigeria editors for rising above primordial sentiments, because as you can see this is a pan-Nigerian mandate, there is no question of this is my kinsman, this is brother. How I wish this could be translated into Nigeria national politics. The Sun boss, amidst amidfrom friends and colleagues said he hoped to uphold the dignity, probity, accountability, stature integrity and mark of service that Nigeria editors enjoyed and stood for . He said he would also make his priority the training and retraining of the NGE members.
The new President in a chat with journalists after he was sworn in promised that the Guild would leverage on its contact to build a secretariat for the Guild during his two year term on the land being prospected already. Describing the mandate given to him as pan-Nigeria, he expressed the hope that Nigeria would become a place of good people’s dream if the members of the political class could borrow a leaf from the election of the NGF, adding that a new Nigeria was already evolving. Meanwhile, Chairman, Northern states Governors’ Forum and governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu has enjoined the newly elected president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr. Femi Adesina to uphold the spirit of professionalism and political non-partisanship for which the body of editors is known and respected.
In a release signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo in Minna, Aliyu described the emergence of Mr. Adesina as NGE president as a clear manifestation of the confidence reposed in him by his fellow editors. The position of President, Guild of Editors, he said, is one that demands members across the length and breadth of the country be carried along for the benefit of not only the media in Nigeria but also the Nigerian public. “At this time of the nation’s political development, what Nigeria and indeed Nigerians need is a guild that transcends political partisanship and one that will leave politics to politicians and only play the traditional role of mediating between the leader and the led.
“I have a strong belief that your colleagues must have seen these qualities and others in you to have elected you into this highly exalted office. “It is a thing of joy that your colleagues put aside ethnicity or tribalism in choosing you to pilot the affairs of the guild, I therefore call on you to provide the body with a leadership devoid of tribal, political or any primordial sentiment” Governor Aliyu reiterated his strong believe in the universally held assertion that nothing sustains a nation’s democracy than a vibrant media, the type we have in Nigeria and urged the new president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors to work very hard to sustain this tradition.
“If what we have read in your Friday columns in the Daily Sun over the years, your fearless assessments of the nation’s political landscape and your consistent fight for justice, fair play and equity are true reflections of your inner feelings, then it would not be difficult for you to bring these to bear in the leadership of the guild” “We salute you and pray God to grant you the ability to take the Nigerian Guild of Editors to a lofty height”, Aliyu asserted.