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The Oyo State Commissioner for Information & Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade, Chairman Oyo State Nigerian Union of Journalists, Chief Demola Babalola, A Criminologist & Sociologist from the prestigious University of Ibadan Dr. Tade Oludayo, BCOS NUJ Chairperson, Ms. Dupe Fehintola, All Progressive Congress (APC) Aspirants, Hon Ademola Ajibola, Young Progressive Party chieftain, Hon Kehinde Oguniyi, and other prominent figures present at the 4th edition of Journalists Hangout organized by Ibadan Media Ltd, have underlined the pivotal roles political parties played in facilitating a smooth and inclusive voting process, also urged young people to foster a deeper interest in the electoral process and in governance overall.

An event, which again, was in partnership with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council took place at the Dapo Aderogba Hall, NUJ Secretariat, Ibadan on Sunday, 27th of August, with the theme, “2023 Elections: Lessons and Prospects for the Future.” The focal point of the day, the panel sessions, featured illustrious veterans who delivered profound insights into the essential events that characterized the 2023 elections. They highlighted the advancements and pitfalls encountered during the election process while offering invaluable guidance for forthcoming elections

The special guest for the hangout, Prince Dotun Oyelade, caught the attention of journalists, particularly the young and aspiring ones, by wearing the garb of a school teacher.

As a veteran journalist, he lauded the convener for organizing an event that brought together diverse stakeholders in the journalism arena, propelling both state and national media landscapes towards advancement. He, however, pledged unwavering support from the state government for future collaborations as regards the event.

Speaking earlier at the event, The Oyo NUJ Chairman, Com. Babalola Ademola, expressed gratitude to all attendees, with special acknowledgment for dignitaries and panelists. He stressed the significance of the Journalists Hangout event in advancing both media and public awareness.

Also, while giving his remark, the convener of the occasion doubled as the chairman/publisher of Ibadan Media Ltd, Mr. Ola Olalekan Olanrewaju, highlighted the importance of a gathering like journalists hangout in fostering strong relationships between journalism and the Mass Media in Governance.

He also spoke about the event as an avenue to bring together journalists from different aspects to discuss and deliberate on any issues challenging the industry or the state/country at a particular time and come up with possible solutions to be implemented by the right authorities.

On the theme, “2023 Elections: Lessons and Prospects for the Future,” Dr. Tade Oludayo, a lecturer in the sociology and criminology department of the University of Ibadan, motivated the young attendees to persist in their political engagement. He commended the increased participation of young voters in the past election and encouraged them to prepare and educate themselves for future elections actively.

Ms. Dupe Fehintola, BCOS NUJ Chairperson, who also covered the 2023 elections, enriched the discourse by emphasizing the critical role of the media in shaping election outcomes. She applauded improvements in the BVAS Machine for voter registration and election counting process while calling upon INEC to enhance voter registration and education, improve voting accessibility for physically challenged individuals, and take decisive steps to curtail vote buying and selling.

There were also contributions from politicians and party chieftains from diverse political affiliations, including PDP, APC, YPP, Samson Akindele, GM Fresh FM, Ronke Giwa-Onafuwa, GM Vintage FM, Mrs. Oreoluwa, GM Crest FM, among others, underlined the pivotal roles political parties played in facilitating a smooth and inclusive voting process. They urged young people to foster a deeper interest in the electoral process and in governance overall.

The participation of mass communication students and press councils from various tertiary institutions in Ibadan, including the University of Ibadan (UI), National Open University (NOUN), The Polytechnic Ibadan (TPI), and the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ) added an enriching layer to the event. Their presence not only facilitated lively discussions but also enabled them to glean insights from seasoned practitioners, fostering connections vital to their budding careers.

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