Founded by Mr. Alex Uruemu Ibru (1945-2011), The Guardian’s (https://Guardian.ng) foundational rationale upon inception on July 4, 1983 was simple: to create an intellectually driven, independent newspaper presenting balanced and factual coverage of events comparable with the best in Nigeria and globally. Underpinning that was the philosophy of integrity, good conscience and high ethical standards.
Through the highs of lows of press freedom, human rights violations, breaches of the rule of law, by Nigeria’s military dispensation; to the return to multiparty democratic rule in 1999, and its inherent challenges in a complex multi-ethnic Nigeria, The Guardian has remained at the vanguard of the dissemination of knowledge-driven, evidence-based information, education and policy development, embedding the rule of law, proactively advancing women’s right; and straddling the diverse realms of economics, legal research, nation-building, politics, science and sports.
These phenomenal achievements have been made possible by a formidable team of experienced and excellent journalists including, but not restricted to, the likes of Lade Bonuola (the pioneer editor), Emeka Izeze, Martins Oloja (the current Editor-in Chief and Managing Director), Sonala Olumese, Professor GG Darah to name a few.
It is often said that the constancy of change is non-negotiable. Likewise, the constancy of The Guardian’s commitment to excellent journalism in the decades ahead is, and shall be, non-negotiable under the enduring stewardship of first class editorial board with some of Africa’s finest brains and business icons with impeccable credentials.
Happy birthday to The Guardian — Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru
As The Guardian Newspaper marks its 39th year on the newsstand today, its publisher, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, has commended the tenacity of readers, who have remained steadfast to the brand and also associates of the newspaper, who equally have continued to defend what it stands for.
In a statement issued to mark the day, the newspaper publisher also commended the advertisers for remaining loyal to the brand. Her words: “To our advertisers and advertising agencies, we can’t thank you enough for enabling us to keep the flag of our flagship of the Nigerian press flying.”
She added, “I would like to thank you for your commitment and loyalty to our brand for 39 years! We have been passing through some economic challenges that have affected our purchasing powers, but you have remained resilient. A load of our hearty thanks.”
She also said in the statement, “to all our associates and members of the editorial board, I salute your courage, confidence and grit. You have been wonderful, as you have sustained what we stand for these past 39 years. You have kept the faith by producing an independent newspaper established for the purpose of presenting a balanced coverage of events, of promoting the best interests of Nigeria…”
She continued: “As my late husband, the founder of this newspaper Dr Alex Uruemu Ibru always admonished us in discharging our fundamental objective, “good journalism matters to our quest for nation building.”
“We should continue to practise journalism as a weapon for mass reconstruction of our broken walls in Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria. That is a good way of sustaining the legacy of my late husband, which is my passion.
“We will be alive by His grace next year to mark our 40th Birthday in style!”
Only last year, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had poured encomiums on the paper at the launch of ‘The Making of The Nigerian Flagship: A Story of The Guardian’, a collection of reminisces by earlier Rutamites, compiled by Aaron Ukodie and O’Seun Ogunseitan,
Osinbajo had noted: “The story of The Guardian Newspaper is significant, for the redefinition it represents for the print media in Nigeria, and for its uniqueness in bringing public intellectuals and academics into journalism and breeding a generation of talented journalists.”
He also said The Guardian upholds “the proud and illustrious tradition of the Nigerian press that practises journalism with a social mission and a commitment to speaking truth to power. It played an important role in the struggles that birthed our democracy, suffering proscription and the firebombing of its business offices at Rutam House.”
He noted that to grasp the significance of The Guardian, it is important to situate its odyssey within the larger Nigerian story and particularly in the context of the evolution of the fourth estate in the country.
“The Guardian is no longer just a newspaper house, but a public institution – one that has served as an exemplar and a model for generations of media practitioners who replicate its ethos and standards in different ways.
“The Guardian has embodied in these past years fidelity to the principle of balance, objectivity and fair-hearing, not only as a corporate culture but also as a moral obligation to the larger society; that insistence by the gatekeeper that leads are well investigated and reports are well researched before the copy is passed for publication,” the vice president added.
Birth of The Guardian
Though the idea of setting up a newspaper was sown early in Dr. Alex Uruemu Ibru’s life, the birth of The Guardian when he had become a contented businessman, a multi-millionaire with considerable influence in business, changed the narrative of newspapering in the country.
Ibru was fascinated by the power of the media as an intermediary between government, the people and business, and how indeed a newspaper could be used to set agenda for society.
The idea to launch a newspaper started in 1976 and The Guardian newspaper as a brand in 1978. However, due to the economic recession then, it was shelved, but later realised when it finally hit the newsstand on February 27, 1983.
Five months after, on July 4, 1983, the daily edition also came on board.
The print media company, after over five years of painstaking incubation began the journey of “providing the best and most authoritative newspaper” as it pursued its philosophical underpinning as “an independent newspaper, established for the purpose of presenting balanced coverage of events, and of promoting the best interest of Nigeria.”
It was conceived as a well planned and carefully thought out enterprise, which would present a balanced coverage and projection of news and views, uphold political neutrality and independence and elevate the tone of public discourse.
As a liberal newspaper, committed to the best traditions and ideals of republican democracy, The Guardian believes it is the responsibility of the State not only to protect and defend the citizens but also to create the political, social, economic and cultural conditions in which all citizens may achieve their highest potentials as human beings. And as the ‘flagship of the Nigerian press’, The Guardian directed successive governments and reading public on how best to live.
When the paper came, it was one addiction that everybody had, considering that Daily Times had sunk in reputation, because of its tilt towards becoming government ‘megaphone’. It was a peculiar taste that many could not wean themselves of.
The Guardian transformed the news business, serving the public with rich content in an enriching way. Temperate news presentation with elaborate backgrounding replaced sensationalist news packaging. Elevated prose found its way into news reporting and the front page was no longer the exclusive preserve of politics and political actors. Other less dramatic subjects found access there. There was noticeable effort to woo the discerning reader who enjoyed news beyond the headlines.
It was a new and strong voice that changed the standard of journalism in the country. It strove to fulfill that mandate. It gave voice to the voiceless and became the ‘conscience of the nation’.
As the ‘flagship of the Nigerian press’, The Guardian directed successive governments and reading public on how best to live. And for the staff, it was all about justice and the public good. For more than three decades-and-a-half, Rutam House has been like the Vatican.
With a team of intellectuals, mostly literary scholars (authors, creative writers, critics and academics in humanities), no doubts, the paper had no alternative than to lean towards intellectualism.
Stanley Macebuh, arguably one of the best columnists in the country, because of his style, language and logic, led the founding editorial staff of the newspaper, which he served as Executive Editor/Managing Director, while the then Associate Editor was Lade Bonuola.
Opinion writing equally enjoyed a renaissance that brought in specialisation. The editorial board attracted eggheads from campuses, thus, enriching the art of informed commentary.
Things were structured at The Guardian in such a way that a lot of professionals and statesmen were contributing regularly so that there was no dull moment when going through the Op-ed pages. Beside Olatunji Dare, a lot of seasoned writers like the late Prof. Tam David West, the late Prof. Claude Ake, the late Justice Kayode Eso, Bishop Hassan Kukah, Prof. Green Nwankwo, the late Chief Tony Enahoro, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the late Alade Odunewu, the late Alao Aka Bashorun, Nnimmo Bassey, the late Prof. Festus Iyayi and a host of others were always sending in their views on diverse issues from time to time.
In fulfilling its mandate, The Guardian established itself with the reading public as a newspaper of record and influence and as one of the major platforms for promoting the interest of the voiceless and the disadvantaged in society.
The Guardian Newspaper has consistently acted as a watchdog on matters that border on code of conduct for public officials and for private individuals in Nigeria as a whole. The newspaper was a strong force in the struggle against military rule.
During the administration of General Muhammadu Buhari, as a military Head of State and when The Guardian was just about a year old, its two reporters, Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor, were both sent to jail in 1984 under Decree No. 4 of 1984, which suppressed journalistic freedom. The paper’s political editor, Krees Imodibie, was killed in the course of duty in Liberia.
In his scholarly article titled “Journalism in Nigeria: A Historical Overview” and published in 1996 in “Journalism in Nigeria: Issues and Perspectives”, Prof. Omu wrote further: “The Guardian calls itself the flagship of the Nigerian press and so it really is. It has been indisputably the best newspaper ever produced in Nigeria and its brand of journalism has had a profound and provocative impact on Nigerian journalism.
“The principles, which it espouses and the standards which it represents, set it out as a national institution. In the poise and polish of its language, in its cultivated and intellectual approach to argument and controversy, in its penetrating and persuasive analysis and interpretation, in its promotion of ideological pluralism and in its endeavor to place events in their historical perspective, The Guardian has achieved great esteem in and outside Nigeria as one of the most authoritative newspapers in Africa. Its journalistic achievements are bound to influence the newspaper industry for a long time.”
Though the media industry, over the years, has gone through turbulent times, with so many publications going down before and after the birth of The Guardian, the publication has continued to be on the newsstand, providing scintillating reports for Nigerians and non-Nigerians.
The publication started as a 16-page paper but pre-COVID, it published on the average, 64 pages and sometimes, over 100 pages with increased advert sales. In the last two years, however, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a considerable reduction in pagination by virtually all the print media outlets.
In its 39 years of existence, great journalists such as, Lade Bonuola, Femi Kusa, Emeka Izeze, Debo Adesina, Martins Oloja and Abraham Ogbodo have edited The Guardian. The current editor of the paper, Mr. Alabi Williams, assumed duty on June 8, 2020 alongside other professionals who were also elevated to man different posts.
They are Kabir Alabi Garba (Editor, The Guardian on Sunday); and Francis Chuks Nwanne (Editor, The Guardian on Saturday). Two insiders had also served as Acting Editors for the newspaper: Jewell Dafinone (January to June 2016) and Dr. Paul Onomuakpokpo (July 1, 2019 to June 4, 2020).
These courage and professionalism that The Guardian represent have been bountifully rewarded and the harvest include, the Diamond Award for Media Excellence (DAME), the Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA), Cable News Network (CNN) African Journalist of the Year and many others. The Guardian was one of the early stars of DAME, winning the Newspaper of the Decade in 2001 and joint winner of the same prize in 2011 with The Punch.
The Lagos State Government says the construction of 44 Factory Units at Imota Light Industrial Park is at 86 percent completion. The Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, and Cooperatives, Dr. Lola Akande made the disclosure at the closing ceremony of the 7th edition of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Exclusive Fair held on Sunday at Lagos Television Blue Roof, Ikeja.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that MSMEs Exclusive Fair is an annual exhibition of indigenous products, especially the residents and the Lagos State-funded schemes.Akande said the industrial light park was part of the Lagos state government’s efforts to create a conducive environment for the Organized Private Sector and other stakeholders in the state.She assured members of the business community that the State Government remained committed to improving the business environment towards making it more attractive for investment in the sector.The Commissioner noted that the factory was one of the government efforts at enhancing the growth of MSMEs.She said: “In a bid to continue to compliment the Small Scale Industrial Estates at Mushin and Isolo as well as the Industrial shed at Sabo in Ikorodu, plans are ongoing to develop a new Small Scale Industrial Estate at Gberigbe, Ikorodu..“The State Government remains committed to providing a conducive environment for the Organised Private Sector and other stakeholders through continuous engagement in the implementation of policies, regulations and projects as they impact the business prosperity of the state.”Akande said that other for the MSMEs include the Eko MSMEs Fashion Hub established in collaboration with the Federal Government to boost the fashion and apparel industry.” The e-Commerce digital platform was created to showcase MSMEs products and services to the world and the establishment of Lagos State Export Promotion Committee to promote the marketability of locally made products.“Others include the Lagos Council on MSMEs, a broad-based platform comprising State and Federal Government agencies for the harmonization of State-wide dispensation of national and local MSME promotion, policies, measures and programs.The National Awareness and Sensitization Tour to promote the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (ACFTAA).“The commemoration of the African Industrialization African Industrialists Week during which business clinics were held to deepen the knowledge of MSMEs,” she said.The commissioner, therefore, urged the exhibitors and other MSMEs as curtains were drawn to end the Exclusive Fair to take full advantage of the numerous benefits available in AFCFTA and the relevant stakeholders of various government agencies.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Farouk Yahaya, has described sports as very critical to the physical and mental alertness of military officers. Yahaya made the remark during the ceremonial tee-off of a golf tournament at the Arsenal Golf Course on Saturday in Owerri.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the tournament was part of activities marking the year 2022 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL).Yahaya, who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Victor Ezeugwu, the Corps Commander, Infantry Corps of the Nigerian Army, also launched hole 4 at the Golf Course.He said that the game would go a long way in helping the physical training of officers as well keep them mentally alert to the happenings in their environment.“The physical and mental alertness of a military officer form part of his welfare, which is key to success in the discharge of his constitutional duties.“We will continue to support the game and to promote national unity as part of our core mandate through sports,” he said.Speaking, Captain of the Arsenal Golf and Country Club, Commodore Ogechi Osuagwu (rtd), of the Nigerian Navy, thanked the COAS for identifying with the club during the auspicious occasion of the commemoration of the Nigerian Army Day.Osuagwu described the club as the best of its kind in the South-East geo-political zone.According to him, the hole 4, launched by the COAS, would, among other things, add feathers to golf in Imo, thus providing a platform for the improvement of civil-military relations in the state.He appealed to the COAS to support the club with a 300KVA Transformer for generation of electric power and an annual subvention to keep the club going.The golf captain requested that the hole 4 be annually maintained with a subscription of N200,000.He further thanked Gov. Hope Uzodimma for his efforts at ensuring the security of Imo residents and providing the enabling environment for social activities to thrive in the state.He also advised youths to eschew criminality, and work towards ensuring lasting peace and security in their various communities.“The Arsenal Golf Course has played an enormous role in strengthening civil-military relations in the state and we thank the COAS for accepting the hole 4 which we offered to him, and for launching it,” he said.Highlight of the event was the presentation of an award to the COAS in appreciation of his support for the club as well as awards, cash and gift prizes such as flat screen televisions and refrigerators to winners of different categories.NAN also reports that the event was attended by serving and former military officers, prominent among whom was the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja.VINNewsSourceCredit: NAN
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday evening returned to Abuja after a five-day State Visit to Lisbon, Portugal, where Nigeria and the European nation signed Memorandum of Understanding in diverse sectors.
While in Lisbon, the Nigerian leader held several bilateral engagements which culminated into the signing of Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding between Nigeria and Portugal.
The MoUs signed include Political Consultations; Diplomatic Training, Research and the Exchange of Information and Documentation.
Cooperation in the field of Culture; and Cooperation in the Field of Women and Girls Development, Empowerment and Gender Affairs; Youths and Sports were also parts of the cooperation.
President Buhari, had earlier met with representatives of Nigerians living in Portugal, on Wednesday night, where he again cautioned Nigerians abroad against the use of social media to insult and incite from a safe and anonymous distance.
Buhari, rather urged them to always promote Nigeria’s unity.
According to the president, the social media can be a force for good, as well as a force for evil, urging all Nigerian citizens to make use of the social media for the general good of the society.
Also on Thursday in Lisbon, Buhari called for an increase in the volume of trade with Portugal as well as diversification to non-oil products.
The president made the call at a Seminar between Nigeria and Portugal businesses during the State Visit to Portugal.
According to the Nigerian leader, the two countries are in dire need of new investment opportunities following the devastation on global economies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and, in recent times, the impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict.
President Buhari also expressed the readiness of Nigeria to fill the natural gas gaps in Europe predicated by the current Russian-Ukrainian war.
Also on June 30, the president approved renewal of the appointment of Patience Oniha as the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) for a second term of 5 years.
The president on Friday met with Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon and City Council Members, where he expressed gratitude and appreciation to them for accommodating Nigerians and those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Buhari also used the occasion to congratulate him and his party on their electoral victory and his emergence as the Mayor of Lisbon.
The President’s media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said the Nigerian leader thanked Carlis Moedas for graciously receiving the Nigerian delegation in the ‘beautiful and historic coastal city of Lisbon’.
President Buhari also pledged Nigeria’s commitment to reducing marine plastic pollution from land-based sources and activities.
The president gave the assurance in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, at the 2022 UN Ocean Conference, in Lisbon, Portugal, on Friday.
While highlighting Nigeria’s effort at ensuring the health and sustainability of oceans, seas and marine resources, Buhari said that a national policy on plastic pollution and the road map on tackling solid and plastic waste management had been formulated and established.
Buhari, who lauded the UN for leading the process of effective ocean governance, said that Nigeria had mainstreamed ocean management into the economy, constituting a Presidential Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy.
He also announced that Nigeria had embarked on creation of two marine protected areas.
Also, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Abuja, Tijjani Umar, on July 1 revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari would inaugurate new Presidential Wing of the State House Clinic in December.
Umar, who made this known at the State House SERVICOM Unit Awards for the Year 2021 in Abuja, revealed that the construction work on the befitting health facility had already reached 75 per cent stage of completion.
According to him, the multi-billion naira medical facility will be one of the legacies the Buhari administration will leave behind for incoming administrations in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that before departing for Lisbon on Tuesday, the president had held official engagements including the swearing in of Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on June 27.
The swearing of Ariwoola, the next most senior in the hierarchy of the Supreme Court, as the new CJN followed the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammed on health ground.
The president also on the same day met with Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo, who updated him on security and socio-economic developments in the state.
Uzodinma, who later spoke to State House correspondents, said he used the opportunity of the meeting to thank the president for approving the hosting of this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration in Imo.
The governor, who also reacted to recent call by Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara that his citizens should apply for guns for self-protection, said there was no need for such actions in Imo.
The president also granted audience to some APC senators over the outcome of the party primaries and its implications for the party.
Buhari reassured that the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) would sustain the post-primaries healing process to ensure fairness, justice and unity before the 2023 general elections.
He said that complaints were received from some members and that machinery had been put in place by the National Working Committee to address their concerns.
The Commander, Army Headquarters (AHQ) Garrison, Maj.-Gen. Kabir Garba alongside officers and soldiers on Saturday, embarked on tree planting exercise within barracks in commemoration of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2022.
The exercise was conducted within Mogadishu Cantonment and barracks within the AHQ Garrison’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) such as Yar’aduwa Barracks and CBA extension.
During the exercise, the commandant said the aim of the exercise was to create awareness by supporting units under his command and the barracks community to take a stand against deforestation and actively participate in greening of environment.
Garba added that the tree planting exercise was also in line with the Chief of Army Staff’s position on tree planting, adding that the COAS had always demonstrated it by planting a tree in all the building projects he had inaugurated in recent times.
“It is also worthy to note that the exercise is in line with tree planting campaign of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari.
“Buhari has pledged to plant 25 million trees in Nigeria to enhance the countries carbon sink as part of the countries efforts to implement the Paris Climate change agreement,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NADCEL is celebrated from July 1 to July 6 every year across army formations and units.
The 2022 edition, which will take place in Owerri, Imo State, had commenced with news conference on Wednesday, follow by the Juma’at prayer on Friday while the interdenominational Church services will be held on Sunday in all formations.
Other activities lined up include humanitarian outreaches while grand finale would take place on July 6 in Owerri.