Nigeria Newspapers

PUNCH, champion of press freedom, says House of Reps

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The House of Representatives has described as a champion of press freedom and democracy in Nigeria.

The House also saluted the founder, Chief Olu Aboderin, Managing Director, Mr Joseph Adeyeye, board, management and staff members of the publishing company for their dedication to journalistic excellence.

was founded in March 1973 but the celebration of the epoch event was shifted to 2024 because the 50th anniversary coincided with the 2023 general election.

In a goodwill message to mark the 50th anniversary of issued by the spokesman for the House and Chairman, Committee on Media and Publicity, Akin Rotimi, on Friday night, the House lauded the newspaper for its consistency in the advocacy for accountability and good governance over the years.

The goodwill message read in part, “Founded in 1973 by late Chief Olu Aboderin, The PUNCH Newspaper has remained steadfast in its commitment to journalistic excellence and upholding the principles of press freedom and democracy.

“The House of Representatives celebrates with on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, which carries special significance as it coincides with the 40th anniversary of the demise of the founder, Chief Olu Aboderin of blessed memory.

“As a distinguished member of the fourth estate of the realm, has played a pivotal role in promoting democracy and development in Nigeria.”

Mr Rotimi on behalf of his colleagues noted, “Over the past five decades, has been a strong voice for the voiceless, holding government officials accountable and advocating for good governance.

“The House of Representatives celebrates the legacy and honours the memory of the founder of , Aboderin, and congratulates  the Chairman of the Board, Madam Angela Emuwa; the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr Adeyeye Joseph, as well as successive members of the board, management, and staff for their dedication and resilience in keeping newspaper titles alive.

“Their unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity and the pursuit of truth has earned The PUNCH a well-deserved reputation as one of Nigeria’s most respected media houses.”

Rotimi also conveyed the Speaker of the House, Abbas Tajudeen’s personal celebration of The PUNCH brand, noting that the paper “Stood up for press freedom, such as during the military era when it boldly spoke truth to power and defended the right of the press to operate freely.

has been a beacon of light in the Nigerian media landscape, championing the cause of press freedom and democracy. We salute the paper on its 50th anniversary and wish it many more years of success,” the statement quoted Abbas as saying.

Oyo State Government and the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), have congratulated the management and staff of Nigeria Limited on its 50th anniversary.

Events marking the anniversary started last Saturday with a colourful novelty football match between PUNCHERS FC and Amalgamated FC, a team drawn from The Nation, ThisDay, Leadership, The Guardian, Telegraph, Business Day, and Tribune; a three-day photo exhibition at the Alliance Francaise de Lagos/Mike Adenuga Centre, Osborne Road, Ikoyi; and a public lecture, which had the Noble Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka as guest speaker.

The public lecture was held at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Also, On Saturday, March 2, 2024, at Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos, will host a black-tie dinner to acknowledge the contributions of its stakeholders to its success, while the anniversary’s grand finale is a staff party on March 9 at which current and former employees will be feted for their contributions to PUNCH’s successes.

The Oyo State Government in a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information, Prince Dotun Oyelade, lauded Newspapers for “its tenacity and strict adherence to the rules governing journalism ethics over the past 50 years.”

The statement read in part, “Though the Newspaper is not the oldest in the country, hardly can any other traditional medium surpass the effect that the newspaper has had on democracy in the past 50 years.

“The foothold that PUNCH Newspaper has established in the polity despite unfriendly political and economic situations can be likened to the emergence of the Seyi Makinde administration since 2019, which in spite of all obstacles has succeeded in midwifing a sound infrastructural development that has changed the overall economic outlook of the state within such a short time.

“With these resilience mentalities of the state government and the Punch group of newspapers, government congratulates the newspaper in its attempt to make the next 50 years even more historical for the economy.”

Also, Senator Bamidele in a personally signed congratulatory message addressed to the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Punch Nigeria Limited, Mr Adeyeye Joseph, extolled the organisation for staying through to true journalism despite the challenges it faced, particularly during the military regime.

The Senate Leader said, “I most sincerely extend my heartfelt congratulations to the management and staff of PUNCH (Nigeria) Limited on its golden anniversary. It has been 50 years of flagship and robust journalism, defending the cause of the downtrodden, promoting open society, and upholding the rule of law.

“From when first hit the newsstand on March 18, 1973, there has not been any looking back. From time to time, its Board of Editors and Editorial team have exhibited sound news judgment and placed the interests of Nigeria, indeed 227 million citizens, at the core of the publications.”

He added, “This lends credence to your strict adherence to Section 22 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, which largely enjoins the mass media to uphold the fundamental objectives and principle of state policy and advocate the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people at all times.

“As an ardent reader of , I eternally commend your courage, creativity and resilience in the practice of professional print journalism in Nigeria, especially during the dark era of despotism and tyranny that we all witnessed until the return to democratic rule on May 29, 1999.”