THE Obafemi Awolowo family, members of the board of the African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles, have assured Nigerians of the publication’s readiness to identify with them and continue to be the voice of the common man.
Giving the assurance at the commissioning of the new Tribune House in Isheri, Ogun State, on Saturday, associate and family members of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, commended the Nigerian Tribune titles for their doggedness and steadfastness in fighting the cause of the common man in the last 70 years, noting that the newspapers’ unflinching loyalty to the cause of the downtrodden, represents its staying power in the past seven decades.
In her welcome address, Chairman, African Newspapers of Nigeria, publisher of Tribune titles, Ambassador (Dr) Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, explained that the decision to put up the building was informed by the need to enable the organisation to leverage on technology to advance its growth and drive its vision.
She explained that the new building would serve as the digital hub for the organisation, adding that the management team of the company is already working on some partnership that will make the initiative a reality.
“The future of any sector in this digital age lies in information technology and this is where we are heading. I am pleased to announce to you today that this building will serve as the digital hub of the Nigerian Tribune,” she stated.
Dr Awolowo Dosumu also commended the management and staff of the organisation for their dedication to duties and huge sacrifices in making the building a reality.
“When we turned the sod, exactly one year ago, it was with faith that we said we were going to commission this building.
“We didn’t even know where we were going to raise funds from, but we challenged God, and He has proved Himself mighty to us all by making today a reality.
“We knew this day was coming, but we didn’t know how we were going to do it. After we did the sod-turning last year, for about six months, we were just holding meetings and talking, and praying that God will manifest Himself.
“Not until around June this year that things started happening here, and we were able to build the edifice you are seeing today.
“I can assure you that as we speak, all the materials to complete the building are ready. The only thing we didn’t factor in is the Nigerian factor because some of the contractors let us down.
“I dedicate this building to the management and staff of the Tribune family of today because they have done so much. They have made so much sacrifice to the cause of this building project.
“You will not believe it, we have not borrowed a penny to build this structure. We are not owing anybody a penny over this structure. This trend is in continuation of our parents’ legacy, because any investment they made during their lifetime, they never ever borrowed,” she stated.
Tribune still remains the voice of the people —Chief Adebanjo
Extolling the virtues of the founding fathers of the publication, Yoruba leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo said in the face of obvious persecution and oppression, Nigerian Tribune still stands for truth and justice, as it remains unbending in its fight for the cause of the common man from the colonial era till this present day.
While urging anyone that seeks success in politics in Nigeria to listen to what Tribune says, Chief Adebanjo advised the media on the need to play their primary role of being the voice of then oppressed in the society, and not dance to the tune of the powers-that-be just because of patronage.
He said, “No responsible government would want to suppress the voice of its citizens for saying the truth. Nigerian Tribune has been and still is the protector of the masses. The newspaper is the mouthpiece and servant of the people fighting for what is right.”
We are celebrating an enduring legacy —Revd (Mrs) Oyediran
The immediate past chairman, ANN Plc, Rev (Mrs) Tola Oyediran, described the commissioning as continuation of an unending legacy while paying glowing tributes to the founders, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his Jewel, Mama HID Awolowo.
“We are excited today that Nigerian Tribune is marking her 70th anniversary.
“Wherever you go in Nigeria, there is always a mention of the Papa, Obafemi Awolowo.
“We thank God for Mama who held the battle for many many years. This paper has been through many storm.
“We are sitting here today, celebrating the almighty God that we are not dead but alive and we are going to go from one celebration to another,” she said.
She also lauded the shareholders, management and staff of the company for perseverance and doggedness.
She said, “The journey was rough and tough as there was a time copies of the paper had to be hidden by the readers to evade arrest . I pray for the management and the committed staff of the newspaper; you shall enjoy the fruit of your labour in Jesus name.
“We are dedicating this edifice to the management for that enduring legacy. We thank God that no trouble befell any one of them. The workers, we are grateful and we sincerely thank you. I can’t even imagine what you have achieved in 70 years. It is to show you that it is a day of joy. We thank you so much and the Lord will bless you,” Revd Oyetola prayed.
She described the 70th anniversary of the Newspaper as a landmark achievement in the history of the publication, while assuring the readers of the unflinching commitment of the Newspaper to fight their cause.
Nigerian Tribune has come to stay —Rt Rev (Dr) Foluso Olugbenga
The Bishop of Osun Diocese, Rt Reverend Dr Foluso Olugbenga Babatunji, commended the publication for making use of the space God created for it in the nation’s media, adding that the publication has come to stay.
He said the newspaper in the last 70 years of its existence has been an eye opener, since it has continued to open the eyes of the ‘blind’, educating the masses and making case for the oppressed.
He said, “Although the media are created to fight unrighteousness, they are the easiest to corrupt. We have seen how media houses fail in this country but the Lord has strengthened Nigerian Tribune, creating for it a space in Nigeria while other newspapers strive for space.
“A lot of space is begging to be filled in the world. God has given us space, a place in the world to occupy. But you have to fight for such space.
“A space was given to Nigerian Tribune 70 years ago, it fought for it and 70 years after, we are all seeing the result,” he stated.
Some of the dignitaries at the commissioning were: the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Adewale Ajayi; the Alakene of Ikenne Remo, Oba Adeyinka Onakade; the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams; Lagos State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Dominic Adegbola, representing Chief Bode George; Ekiti State Commissioner for Information, Chief Muyiwa Olumilua; Publisher, Vanguard newspapers, Mr Sam Amuka Pemu.
Apart from the shareholders of the company, who were ably represented, also in attendance were the former Managing Director, ANN PLC, Reverend Sam Adesua; Head, HLB Ososanya and Co (Audit Firm), Mr Olufemi Ososanya; Pastor Z.O. Odugbose, Pastor M.O. Ogunibe, Remo Area Superintendent of TACN; Mrs Comfort Eyitayo, first Deputy Vice President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), representing ICAN president; Mrs Ayotola Ayodeji, Director, ANN Plc, Chuef Bayo Fadoju, Director, ANN Plc; Mrs Kemi Aderemi, Director, ANN Plc; Mrs Wemimo Anifowoshe; Consultant/Director, ANN Plc, Pastor Segun Olatunji, among others.Read Full Story