Distinguished guests, esteemed colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, permit me to warmly welcome us all to this solemn and momentous occasion as we gather here today to honor the memory of a great individual, Elder Anyim Ude. As the Chief Host of this event, I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your presence, as we pay tribute to a remarkable individual and also use the opportunity to delve into a topic of utmost significance in our contemporary society.
Today, we’ve come to celebrate not just the life of Elder Anyim Ude, but also to engage in a critical discourse on “Freedom of the Press, Fake News, and the Rule of Law.” This topic is not only timely but also holds a profound relevance in shaping the future of our nation and the role of journalism in upholding the principles of justice, truth, and democracy.
Elder Ude was an exemplary figure, a champion of justice, and a staunch advocate for press freedom. His unwavering dedication to the cause of truth and his tireless efforts to defend the integrity of journalism serve as an inspiration to us all. Today, we remember his contributions, not just to our profession but to society at large, and we commit ourselves to carry forward his legacy with unwavering commitment and integrity.
Throughout his 51-year career in the Nigerian Public Service, he exhibited unwavering dedication, expertise, and a passion for journalism that inspired generations.
As a veteran journalist and broadcast manager, Ude’s contributions were immeasurable. He served as a reporter during the Nigerian Civil War and went on to occupy prestigious positions in various broadcasting establishments, including the Eastern Nigeria Information Service, East Central State Broadcasting Service, Nigerian Television Authority, Imo Broadcasting Service and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria.
Notably, Ude holds the honor of being the longest-serving Chief Executive in Nigeria’s Public Broadcast Industry during his time. His leadership and guidance paved the way for countless journalists and broadcasters, leaving an indelible legacy that will continue to shape the industry for years to come.
Beyond his professional achievements, Elder Anyim Ude was a community leader, philanthropist, and technocrat who dedicated his life to uplifting others. He exemplified the values of selflessness, integrity, and public service, earning him respect and admiration from all who knew him.
The theme of our gathering today, “Freedom of the Press, Fake News, and the Rule of Law,” reflects the challenges and complexities we face in the digital age. As journalists and media professionals, we are entrusted with the responsibility of disseminating information accurately and responsibly. However, the spread of misinformation and the rise of fake news have emerged as formidable threats to our profession and the very fabric of our democratic principles.
In this pursuit of truth, we must remain steadfast in upholding the principles of objectivity, impartiality, and accountability. As we engage in this dialogue today, let us remember that with freedom comes responsibility. Let us strive to bridge the gap between the digital world and the ethical boundaries that define our profession.
I am confident that the memorial lecture by the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Olu Akpata will be thought-provoking and enlightening. It is my hope that our discussions during this event will not only deepen our understanding of these critical issues but also inspire collective action to safeguard the integrity of journalism and the rule of law.
I extend my sincere appreciation to our organizing committee for ensuring a well organized event. Together, let us honor Elder Ude’s memory by reinforcing our commitment to truth, justice, and the principles that underpin a thriving democracy.
Once again, I welcome each and everyone of us to this gathering, and I wish us all a productive and enlightening session ahead. Thank you.