The third edition of Lagos Media Retreat attended by Conference57 CPS members has come and gone but Chief Press Secretaries from the 20 LGs and 37 LCDAs won’t forget the event in a hurry. The first edition was held at Badagry in 2018 while the second edition was held at Ibeju in 2019.
No doubt, this year’s media retreat was witnessed by more participants, more invited guests and more facilitators. It is also filled more hospitality, considering the accomodation, location and menu, all thanks to the CPS Babatunde Abubakar from Odi Olowo-Ojuwoye LCDA led planning committee who help us to the Conference57 Chairmen proud. CPS Ayodele Ayeyemi from Yaba, CPS Emmanuel Dede from Apapa, CPS Kareem Kabir from Ijede, CPS Sanusi Razak from Mushin and CPS Deji Adebayo from Ojodu, you planned and executed it well. Myself and CPS Ekundayo Odumbo of Ikosi-Ejinrin can still feel the sweet taste of your chicken spaghetti!
I sincerely and especially thank my benefactor, boss, explorer and a calculative leader, the Numero Uno of Somolu Local Government, Hon. Abdul Hamed Salawu. I will forever be thankful for appointing me in Somolu to prove my ability and creative capacity in his Government and by extension, Lagos State and our party, All Progressives Congress.
From the Friday dinner at Larry Shine Hotel in Makoko, we all realised that most of the “Eegun” smoked fish sellers are concentrated in Makoko. Akoka, Onike, Iwaya and Makoko are areas in Yaba that can’t be detached from each other. We appreciate Alhaji Mudashiru Odetunde (Agba Akin of Yaba Land) for the largesse and huge reception at his hotel.
Our breakfast at Spicery Hotel in the high-rise area of Jibowu was palatable. Members of Conference57 CPS has a rich breakfast, our Chairmen did us well. In fact, Conference57 Chairmen, you are doing well! It never occurred to us that it will eventually be a long day before we can have our lunch.
Almost immediately after our breakfast, the multinational technology training hub, Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) has set up their projectors in the hall and they started what they know best, training. For about two hours, Habib from CcHUB was training and discussing information and fake news. We now know more about disinformation, misinformation and malinformation. The training on how to sort for Fake News got the attention of all the Chief Press Secretaries present at the hall.
Immediately after the rich CcHUB training sessions, CPS Opeyemi Ahmed of Agboyi-Ketu who is the anchor of the programme called the next facilitator, CPS Ayodele Lawal of Ifako-Ijaiye. Ayo Lawal, a veteran journalist of almost three decades, he was a news editor at PMNews and he is well respected for his prolific writing. He delivered a lecture on ‘Effective Writing for public enlightenment’. It was an eye-opener to many. CPS Deji Adebayo from Ojodu LCDA trained us on canvas graphics on Android phones while CPS Tokunbo Ajayi from Eti-Osa LG trained us on drone photography.
The presence of the Chairman of Mushin Local Government, Hon. Emmanuel Bamigboye, gave more confidence to the Chairmen’s media aides as he appreciates the efforts of the Chief Press Secretaries in projecting the image of his colleagues. He said himself and his colleagues will ensure Chief Press Secretaries are more appreciated and elevated to get the best out of them.
While the Chairman of Conference57 Chairmen, Hon. Rashidat Omolola Essien (Chairman of Lagos Mainland LG) was represented by the Secretary to the Local Government (SLG), Hon. Kayode Adejare Omiyale (Chairman of Yaba LCDA) was represented by the Council leader of the educational institution’s domicile council area. The President of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Hon. Kolade David Alabi (Chairman of Bariga LCDA) was represented by Hon. Chief Lamu. On and on they admonished and praised the ‘mouthpiece of the grassroots’.
My Radio Continental boss, the longest-serving broadcaster in Nigeria, Citizen Jones showed up when we were expecting my analytical journalist brother of Journalist Hangout, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju. Discussing the topic “image laundry of public office holders in the midst of fake news”, Citizen Jones in originality lecturing style got us glued to our chairs again. Flipping from English to pidgin English to Igbo and Yoruba, the veteran journalist was injecting us with his wealth of experience. “Get the book for yourself and for your Chairman, let him read and always tell him the truth, even if the ones he doesn’t want to hear”, Citizen Jones stated. That man is just too original to be or work with a politician.
Our own youthful and useful Oluomo Saheed Akanbi Ade Afonja, Governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Youth Development said Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s interest in developing the youth in Lagos State is equal to none and most of Chief Press Secretaries fall in the youth category. He assured us that more youth programmes from Lagos State Government will be felt in all the 20 LGs and 37 LCDAs soonest.
The number one Chief Press Secretary in Lagos State, Gboyega Akosile, representing Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu truly displayed our togetherness and professionalism spiced with the brotherly relationship. He said the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo ‘Buffalo’ Ayinde, designated him to represent Mr. Governor. The call from Mr. Buffalo to congratulate us on the retreat contain words of assurance that the present Conference57 Chairmen in Lagos State are the luckiest Council Chairmen with wide publicity from the mouthpiece of the grassroots. I was amazed when the Governor’s spokesman said: “your Chairman, Ajimomuya is a friend and brother who is always relating with me and I commend his professional resilience”. Baba Gboye, thanks for encouraging and loving us greatly as we all work together towards a #greaterlagos.
In all, I thank all Almighty Allah who is protecting us before, during and beyond the retreat, Alhamdulillah. I also the Chairman of Somolu Local Government, Hon. Abdul Hamed Salawu (Dullar), without he appointing me I won’t be leading such organisation in Lagos State. My huge gratitude to all Conference57 Chairmen for providing us with the atmosphere to operate, Conference57 CPS members for their cooperation laced with loyalty, all invited guests, all pressmen present and the security operatives who were with us throughout.
These were the words of the Chairman of the Conference57 CPS, Oseni Ajimomuiya.