It’s my pleasure to be here today at Oko for the commissioning of the ‘Ogo Ilu’ radio station, an FM station of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) that was made possible under the constituency project of Honourable Olusegun Odebunmi, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Value and Ethics.
2. I have been informed that this radio station is a trailblazer, being the first of its kind. I will therefore like to warmly congratulate Honourable Odebunmi for his foresight, and the FRCN – represented here by its Director-General, Dr. Mansur Liman – for helping to make this radio station a reality.
3. Radio remains one of the most powerful means of communication and, to quote the website www.lifelineenergy.org, radio goes where
newer technologies can’t. – Beyond electricity, beyond a mobile signal. Beyond literacy. It’s the most effective way of delivering information in remote corners where having the right knowledge can mean the difference between a harvest and hunger, between feeling
confident or humiliated, or even between life and death. End of quote.
4. Radio also helps to deepen democracy by enhancing the participation of citizens, especially in providing the opportunity for feedback from them, thus giving them a say in how they are governed. They don’t just have to listen to programmes, they also have the opportunity to phone in to make their contributions, thus fostering two-way communication.
5. Please permit me to use the occasion of this commissioning to challenge broadcast media in Nigeria to take the lead in telling the Nigerian story, especially by informing the people about the various projects of government and their impact on the people.
6. A situation in which foreign broadcast stations arrogate to themselves the power to tell our own story gives room for distortion of facts, the type of which we saw recently when CNN reported that 38 people were killed at the Lekki Toll Gate during the EndSARS crisis,
only to backtrack and review the number to one – after 35 days of what it called exclusive investigation.
7. Had the local broadcast media lived up to their billing, CNN would have relied on them for news about EndSARS in particular and
other happenings in Nigeria, in general. And we would have been saved from the one-sided, unfair, unbalanced and jaundiced narrative that CNN foisted on the world under the guise of exclusive investigation. A situation in which the local media will rely and quote a foreign
broadcast media, for an event that happened in Nigeria, is an anomaly. It has to stop.
8. Once again, I want to congratulate Honourable Olusegun Odebunmi for this project. We implore the good people of Oko and its environs to take ownership of the radio station, guard it jealously and ensure its viability.
9. It is now my pleasure to commission the ‘ogo ilu’ radio station, to the glory of God and for the benefit of humanity.
10. I thank you for your kind attention