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    Thursday, July 6, 2023

    Sanwo-Olu, George Akume, Others Hail the Guardian at 40

    The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume; Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his Delta State counterpart, Sheriff Oborevwori; and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) have eulogised The Guardian for its landmark 40th anniversary of robust, unbiased and daring journalism as well as sustaining the tradition of its finest ideals that defined the Flagship at inception.

    So The Guardian is 40! How time flies. I recall the billboard announcement, which heralded its coming. It said: “Sooner or later, you will read The Guardian”. When it eventually hit the newsstands in 1983, it was not with a whimper, but a bang. Ever since, the landscape of print journalism has not been the same.

    How could it have been the same, with such giants as the late Dr Stanley Macebuh, Mr Lade Bonuola (Ladbone), Mr Femi Kusa and a host of others who insisted on the freshness and depth that The Guardian brought to the scene.

    The intellectual flavour was remarkable. It was a marriage of the Campus and the Newsroom, with many university lecturers on sabbatical joining the stable.

    The Publisher, Mr Alex Ibru (may The Almighty bless his soul), and all those who were with him at its conception must be excited at the oak tree that this newspaper has become.

    The Guardian has maintained its neutrality, owing no allegiance to any political or social interests. Its pursuit of the truth remains a cardinal principle of its operations. But it has not been a smooth journey for the newspaper. It was shut down by the military in the days of the struggle against military rule. A mysterious fire gutted parts of its offices in Isolo, Lagos. Two of its leading journalists, Nduka Irabor and Tunde Thompson were jailed under the draconian Decree 4 of 1984. Chris Imodibe went to cover the Liberian war and never returned.

    The newspaper maintained its integrity, speaking truth to power and holding government officials accountable, despite its tribulation. That is the “spirit of Lagos”. Our resilience is legendary. We never give up. We strive to be the best. We give everyone equal opportunities to grow. We support great initiatives. We embrace the audacity of small and big businesses. We believe in the ability of our youths. This is the correlation between The Guardian and the ‘Greater Lagos’ that we are building. We have no doubt that the newspaper will remain a worthy partner in this journey.

    I am delighted to join the 40th anniversary celebration of The Guardian, ‘The Flagship’. I, on behalf of the government and people of Lagos, wish the newspaper greater and more exciting days ahead, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu concluded. 

    In a statement yesterday, Akume wrote: “It is with great excitement and ecstasy that I join millions of fans from the stable of The Guardian newspaper to celebrate the publication at 40 as a pillar of Nigeria’s journalism.

    “Since its establishment in 1983, I have been one of your avid readers and do sincerely join millions of Nigerians to heartily congratulate you on your landmark achievements for the past 40 years.

    “The Guardian has remained true to its name as the guardian of what Nigerians cherish – unique culture, exquisite tradition, national integration and identity, among others.

    “Your style of journalism, particularly, your unique outlay, artistic masterpiece, use of language, as well as your adherence to the ethics of journalism- fairness and balance- are cherished among your readers.

    “Over the years, you have remained consistent in your presentation of views, opinions and strong analytical editorials coupled with balanced reportage of news across the nation, which have impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians, especially, in the promotion of unity, harmonious relationships and peaceful co-existence among its diverse cultural groups in the country.

    “While felicitating with you on this auspicious occasion of The Guardian at 40, I urge you to continue on the trajectory of promoting unity, harmony and tolerance among diverse cultures in order to realise the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.”

    Oborevwori also congratulated the Publisher, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, and management of The Guardian Newspapers on the 40th anniversary. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Festus Ahon, in Asaba, Oborevwori said “The Guardian, which hit the newsstands 40 years ago, has carved a niche for itself in news reporting, winning many awards over the years and gaining traction as one of the nation’s newspaper of choice.

    “As a government and as people from your home state of Delta, we are proud of the outstanding accomplishments of the flagship media outfit and its contributions to the journalism profession as the watchdog of the society,” the governor said.

    Also in its congratulatory letter to The Guardian, NGE, in a statement signed by its President, Eze Anaba, and General Secretary, Dr. Iyobosa Uwugiaren, said: “We are pleased to know that your daily newspaper, The Guardian, is 40 years old. On behalf of members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), we express our delight at this great occasion.

    “It is heartwarming to note that your newspaper has gathered extraordinary acceptance and the favourability of many readers – within and outside the country in the past 40 years. We feel extremely proud to be your partner in the media sector.

    “Indeed, the hard work and commitment of our colleagues to the company are truly inspiring. Their dedication and hard work have been a driving force behind your success.

    “We congratulate your team of editors, reporters, writers, and other support staff as their sheer hard work and perseverance have helped the newspaper to hit this landmark

    “When the founder of The Guardian, Chief Alex Ibru, set up the newspaper 40 years ago, he was apparently looking forward to a media house that would guard its hard-earned status enviously, and serve the general interest of the public. And we are happy to note that your staff members have lived up to the desire of the founder. We celebrate all of the great things you have accomplished and look forward to all that is to come.”

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