Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, lauded The Guardian newspaper for “bringing public intellectuals and academics into journalism and breeding a generation of talented journalists.”
He stated this at the launch of the book ‘The Making of Nigerian flagship The Guardian’ in Lagos, yesterday.
While pouring encomiums on the paper, Osinbajo said: “It is a delight to be part of this unveiling of a chapter of our history – a story that has not been told in full until now.
The story of The Guardian newspaper is significant, for the redefinition it represents for the print media in Nigeria, and for its uniqueness in bringing public intellectuals and academics into journalism and breeding a generation of talented journalists.
“The proud and illustrious tradition of the Nigerian press that practiced journalism with a social mission and a commitment to speaking truth to power.
It played an important role in the struggles that birthed our democracy, suffering proscription and the firebombing of its business offices at Rutam House. Alex Ibru, himself, narrowly survived an assassination attempt in which he was severely injured.
“For decades, the men and women that work at The Guardian have drawn inspiration from the immortal words of Uthman Dan Fodio on its masthead: “Conscience is an open wound. Only truth can heal it.” It is the role of journalists to tell the truth even when it is inconvenient. This mission has a special resonance in this day and age. By documenting the rise of The Guardian, Aaron Ukodie and O’Seun Ogunseyitan have additionally reminded us particularly of how the present can be shaped by the past. But more importantly, how what has been done merely reveals what more can be done.”
Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, publisher of The Guardian, while receiving the award given to her husband, reiterated the need for a true federalism, which has become a recurring feature of The Guardian editorials for some time now.