The former Executive Editor of TELL magazine, Mr. Dare Babarinsa has said that Nigerians have no business complaining if they fail to hold their leaders accountable for every action taken on behalf of the people.
He said part of the major requirements is to participate with the consciousness of holding the leaders accountable.
Babarinsa said this at the unveiling of the League of Nigerian Columnists (LNC) at the Centre for International and Advanced Professional Studies, Ikeja, yesterday.
He made it clear that for the people to “recover our country, we must recover our appetite to read or we will lose our country,” adding that the people no longer read, a situation”, he said, will make the process difficult.
Also speaking, columnist and Editorial Board Chairman of The Nation Newspapers, Dr. Sam Omatseye, while supporting the position of Babarinsa however, urged columnists to explore and foray into the online world, which according to him, is where the people now congregate.
“Online media is now the public square. It will help if the league can take advantage of this,” he added.
Earlier, the president of the league, Akogun Tola Adeniyi told the house which included top current and past columnists like Mr. Ray Ekpu, Ms. Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, Mr. Ben Lawrence, Mr. Dan Agbese, Mr. Yakubu Muhammed, Dr. Reuben Abati, Mr. Martins Oloja, Dr. Dele Shobowale Dr. Enny Martins, Mr. Gabriel Akinadewo and Prof. Anthony Ila, among others, that as columnists, they are a rare breed as their efforts help to shape the mind and thinking of the people.
He stressed that “columnists are a rare breed. Whether as creative artist, visionary, analyst, essayist, historian, preacher, ideologue, propagandist or agitator the man or woman who originate and compose thoughts by way of commentary that would engage the mind and thought of of their readers almost in a compelling manner should be singled out for celebration and adoration.”
Giving the reason for the formation of the league, Adeniyi said “it is our strong held view that the Nigerian columnists that have made their mark must come together and carve a respectable identity for themselves and jealously protect that identity to ward off quacks and pretenders.”
He insisted that Nigerians columnists have always been powerful and influential,