No media house in the world, be it local, regional, national or international media, can survive the terrain without advertisements. Big corporations are the big spenders on media advertisement but unfortunately for community media, corporate organisations rarely place adverts with them because they have interest in the mainstream media.
The most likely means of survival for local media are the government; state and local governments. Due to the nature of media organisations which are guarded by the principles of news in terms of balance, truth and non-partisanship, it is not friend of the government. But for reasons known to some of the Lagos State Governors, they have always supported Oriwu Sun and with their support, the doyen community newspaper in Nigeria has survived thirty-six years of service to the community of Ikorodu division.
The Oriwu Sun has been known for its quality news presentation and fine journalese, and also for maintaining a regular presence on the news stand for over three and a half decades. During these years, many rival community newspapers were established. Some of them died soon after they were established, others are still struggling to stay afloat, but the Oriwu Sun has remained unflinching and unperturbed. All thanks to the great governors whose photographs appear herein. For reasons known to these distinguished men who ruled Lagos State at different times, they decided to support Oriwu Sun and have helped the media house survived all the hard times in business.
With the assistance of the past Lagos state governors coupled with the management acumen of the publisher, Chief Monzor Olowosago has been able to maintain a robust community media house which is serving his immediate community, being a reference points for academics and a learning ground for many journalism students across the country.
On its thirty-sixth anniversary, the publisher of Oriwu Sun has deemed it fit to pay tribute to the distinguished governors of Lagos state since 1986 till date. Their names and pictures are prominently displayed in the centerspread special edition of the publisher’s 70th anniversary.
The message is very clear, without these fine men, there wouldn’t be Oriwu Sun by this time. In early 1986 when Late Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe (then a navy captain) was appointed military administrator of Lagos State, he identified with the Oriwu Sun as a credible source of reaching the people of Ikorodu division with public information and he embraced the community newspaper.
The Oriwu Sun received attention, support and advertisements from his administration for the two years he coordinated the affairs of Lagos State. Then came Brigadier General Raji Rasaki, (then a colonel) as the governor who succeeded Mike Akhigbe. Colonel Raji Rasaki kindled a good relationship with the publisher of Oriwu Sun, the military governor followed news reports on Ikorodu and paid attention to the details presented.
On one occasion, Colonel Raji Rasaki, after reading a scoop from the Oriwu Sun, I paid a surprised visit to the division in the wee hours of the night and busted some irresponsible officials. He supported the Oriwu Sun and patronized the community paper with advertisements till the end of his service in Lagos.
The era of Brigadier General Buba Marwa marked a golden age for the Oriwu Sun as the military governor who was fond of the publisher, gave every support to the Oriwu Sun Newspaper. One day, he invited publisher of the Oriwu Sun to his office and told “I appreciate the work your paper is doing in Ikorodu and I want to show you some little appreciation from the government. Your paper has not been unnecessarily prickled to the government but has maintained an objective views. It has also served as a reliable source of information on Ikorodu division. The government would like you to handle some special advertisements for us.” That singular massive advertisement Brigadier Buba Marwa gave the Oriwu Sun served as the fund which built the newspaper’s corporate office in Ikorodu. The governor supported Oriwu Sun till end of his tenure in Lagos State.
The transition to democratic government in Nigeria in 1999, paved way for the democrat Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, who became the elected governor of Lagos State. Asiwaju became fond of the Oriwu Sun and embraced the media house, he gave every support to the community media house and did everything humanely possible to ensure it growth. He personally commissioned the newly built Oriwu Sun House and has always been of great support.
His successor, the charismatic Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, was not only supportive, he acted like a filial brother as he was fond of the publisher and always patronized the Oriwu Sun with adequate advertisements.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s tenure was also another wonderful time for the Oriwu Sun as there was sufficient government patronage all through. Though, the incumbent Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu has not had a close interactions with the publisher, there is hope that he will, before the end of his administration, have a tete-a-tete with him.
These Governors were the pillars who have sustained the Oriwu Sun with advertisement patronages over the years. They all saw the community newspaper as a credible and reliable medium of mass communication at the grassroots of Ikorodu Division.
The Oriwu Sun has over the years proved to be a dependable media outlets to its community by publishing objective and constructive views. In this special 70th birthday edition, the publisher, Chief Monzor Olowosago, has decided to give them the deserved honour for their contributions to grassroots journalism and give them the right place in this edition.