The Group Chairman, Mutual Benefits Assurance, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi has said that no nation can develop without a vibrant press and challenged journalists in Nigeria to ensure proper scrutiny of who becomes what in the country.
Ogunbiyi who is a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party in Osun State and the Guest Speaker at the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Osun NUJ Press Week expressed sadness over the classification of Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world.
While speaking on the topic ”Bridging the gap between the rich and the poor”, Ogunbiyi lamented the vote-buying syndrome which he said has been the major cause of bad leadership and bane of poverty eradication drives.
Speaking further he expressed dismay that, “the more qualified you are for a position in this country, the more detestable you are to certain powers that be. Everybody is looking for gratifications.”
He faulted poor allocation to the Education sector, saying, “until our education system is restructured and emphasis is placed on technical and vocational education, the nation would remain the same. If your economy is doing well as a country check, your educational system.”
He highlighted wealth redistribution, overhauling of the Education sector, healthy economy and creation of employment opportunities as major development indices and determining factors in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.
In the same vein, Senator Sheu Sanni attributed the challenges facing the development of Democracy in Nigeria to a tyrannical executive, sycophantic legislature, timid judiciary and docile civil society organisations.
He said that the gap between the rich and the poor would remain wide if the media fails to hold leadership accountable.
He added that the media should not be deterred by the detention of their colleagues.
The Senator spoke as the Chairman of the ceremony held at the Osun NUJ Press Centre, Osogbo, Osun State, Monday.
He noted that with kidnappers taking over roads like Kaduna/Abuja way and the detention of protesters, the date of mass revolution is a question of time.
The state Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode, who was on her first official function at the program called on journalists to always remind leaders about tomorrow when their Commissioners and Special Advisers will no longer be available.
Earlier, the Chairman of NUJ in Osun State, Comrade Kehinde Ayantunji, said the topic was carefully chosen because of the “poverty in the land.”