The board of the National Media Complaints Commission (NMCC) otherwise known as The Ombudsman has been tasked to work towards ensuring a highly professionalised and free media in the country.
NMCC Interim Secretary Feyi Smith in a statement quoted Publisher Vanguard newspaper and Life Patron of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Mr. Sam Amuka, as giving the charge Thursday in Lagos while inaugurating the nine -man commission.
Seven of the nine members of the commission which has Eluem Emeka Izeze, former managing director of Guardian Newspapers as chairman, were in attendance.
Other members present were Deputy Vice Chancellor, (Academics) Paul University Awka, Anambra state; Prof Chinyere Stella Okunna, a development specialist and Country Director, Care International (Nigeria), Dr. Hussain Abdu, CEO/Editor-in-Chief Diamond Publications Ltd. and Founder, Diamond Awards For Media Excellence (DAME) Mr. Lanre Idowu, Executive Director Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Mr. Edetaen Ojo, a journalist, lawyer and arbitrator; Mrs. Dupe Ajayi Gbadebo, and a broadcaster, author and columnist, Mrs. Eugenia Abu.
Former President Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) A. B Mahmoud, SAN, and Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Information Hon. Segun Odebunmi were however absent.
Speaking at the ceremony, NPAN President, who also doubles as President Nigeria Press Organisation (NPO), Mal Kabiru A. Yusuf, said: “We expect the commission to serve as an independent forum for resolving complaints about the press quickly, fairly and free of charge; maintain high standards of Nigerian journalism and journalists ethics; and defend the freedom of the press and the right of people to know.”
While inviting all stakeholders to support the project, he noted that “the media is weary of government regulation, because politicians tend to have short-goals. We are happy to submit to peer-regulation by collaborating with civil society, business, and the profession.”
Among those present at the event were Publisher ThisDay Newspaper/NPAN Life Patron Prince Nduka Obaigbena, NPAN Council-member and Publisher The Nigerian Pilot, Prince Dennis Sami, Publisher of BusinessDay Frank Aigbogun,, Publisher Daily Times, Fidelis Anosike, President Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) , Mustapha Isah, President Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Chief Chris Isiguzo, and President, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) Ms. Maureen Chigbo.