Newly Renovated center: Comrade Grace Ike lauds leadership quality of Speaker Abbas 



The outgoing Chairman of the House of Representatives Press Corps, Comrade Grace Ike on Thursday applauded Speaker Tajudeen Abbas for providing quality leadership since his election.


Comrade Ike gave the commendation while delivering her valedictory speech after the inauguration of the newly renovated House of Representatives’ Media Centre and swearing in ceremony of the new Executive


Comrade Grace Ike also bagged “ Democratic Heroism Award” by AREWA Journalists forum


While stressing the need for the provision of fully digitalized Media Centre, Comrade Ike averred that: “the inauguration of this edifice- our renovated Media Centre is a testament to the Right Honourable Speaker’s and indeed the leadership of the House’s commitment to our well-being and the importance of a free press in our democracy.


“We are deeply grateful for your generosity and vision. This modernised facility is a beacon of hope for our profession, enabling us to discharge our duties more effectively. Your support is a reminder that a free press and a functioning democracy go hand-in-hand.


“Mr. Speaker, please accept our heartfelt appreciation for your unwavering support to the Press Corps. May this gesture inspire future leaders to emulate your example.


“We pledge to utilise this facility to promote truth, accountability, and the public interest.


“Thank you for your continued support and encouragement; and to the deputy speaker who started with us as Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs we say a big thank you.


“However, additional working materials such as laptops to work with will go a long way to help us improve our skills and report effectively.”


Giving the account of her 5-years leadership, Comrade Ike who expressed excitement for the successful completion of her tenure, said: “In June 2022, you renewed that trust, allowing me to continue our journey together. Today marks the end of this significant chapter in our shared history and the beginning of an exciting new era.


“Before my election in 2020, I had the privilege of completing the tenure of the former chairman. This opportunity not only prepared me for the role but also made me the longest-serving chairman of our esteemed Press Corps. This extended period of service has given me a deep understanding of our mission, our challenges, and the remarkable potential we hold as a united body.


“Over these years, our journey has been marked by a series of notable achievements. Together, we have made significant strides in improving the welfare of our members, ensuring that the dignity and respect owed to each journalist in our corps are upheld.


“In my four years as chairman, together with my exco, we have worked tirelessly to promote the values of transparency, accountability, and fairness in our reporting. We have strived to be the voice of the voiceless, to hold those in power accountable, and to shed light on the stories that need to be told.


“Our retreats have fostered a sense of unity and provided a space for reflection and growth, while our training programs have equipped us with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in our demanding profession.


“Our collaborations with MDAs and top government organizations have strengthened our influence and extended our reach, ensuring that our voices are heard and our work recognized at the highest levels. One of our crowning achievements, the launch of our new magazine, “The Green Sentinel,” stands as an affirmation of our commitment to innovation and excellence in journalism.


“To the incoming leadership, my expectations are simple yet profound. Continue to prioritize the welfare of our members, ensuring that they are supported and valued.


“Expand our training programs, providing opportunities for continuous learning and professional development. Organize more retreats, fostering reflection. Embrace collaboration, forging new partnerships that will propel our corps to greater heights.


“I urge you to remain steadfast in your pursuit of truth and excellence. I want the new exco led by the incoming chairman to know that effective press corps leadership requires a combination of skills, traits, and practices. First, you have to be visionary: Set clear goals and objectives, and work towards achieving them—also, endeavour to make informed, timely, and decisive decisions.


“Secondly, you have to foster open and transparent communication with the leadership, lawmakers, members of the corps and the public. Motivate and inspire members to strive for excellence


“As we stand on the threshold of this new beginning, let us remember that our strength lies in our unity, our commitment to truth, and our unswerving dedication to the principles of journalism. Let us continue to strive for excellence, to uphold the highest standards of integrity, and to be the voice of the people.


“Reflecting on the past years, I am reminded of the challenges we faced and the victories we celebrated. Each step, each achievement, has been a collective effort. The support and trust we have shared have been the bedrock of our success. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your chairperson, and I am confident that our future is bright with promise and potential.


“Thank you for your support over these years and extend same to our successors. My prayer is that this new leadership will guide us to even greater achievements,” Comrade Ike who doubles as Vice Chairman, FCT Correspondents Chapel noted.


In his remarks the speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Tajudeen Abbas said the media plays a significant role in fostering democracy and enhancement between those in positions of authority and the public.


The Speaker, while commending members of the Corps for their services to the Nigerian society through the reportage of the House over the years, urged them to keep the flag flying with a view to holding public office holders accountable in an objective, balanced and accurate manner.


He said: “The role of the media within a democracy cannot be overstated. As the fourth estate (of the realm), the media plays a pivotal role in fostering public engagement and upholding democratic values. The cooperation and collaboration between the media and the legislature, as outlined in our House Legislative Agenda, are essential for promoting transparency, accountability, and effective governance. By working together, we can ensure that the public remains well-informed and actively engaged in the democratic process.


“I commend the Press Corps for your dedicated reporting on the activities of parliament. Your efforts to keep the public informed about our work are invaluable. It is essential that your reportage remain well-researched and balanced, providing accurate and fair coverage of our proceedings. This commitment to journalistic integrity helps to maintain public trust and ensures that citizens receive reliable information,” Speaker Abbas said.


Speaking to the issue of resourcefulness of the media in the process of informing the public and committed the House under his leadership is supporting the Corps, Speaker Abbas acknowledged the need for the provision of a conducive environment and capacity building for effective service delivery.


“A well-resourced Press Centre within parliament is crucial for enabling the media to perform its duties effectively. This renovated Press Centre is yet another evidence of our commitment to providing you with a conducive work environment. I encourage you to make full use of this facility to enhance your reporting and facilitate meaningful dialogue between the legislature and the public.


“Continuous capacity building for the press corps covering the National Assembly is of paramount importance. The House of Representatives is committed to supporting your professional development with the help of our partners. We will work together to provide training programs and resources that will enhance your skills and ensure high-quality reporting on parliamentary activities,” he said.

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