2018 World Photography Day: Photojournalists commend Buhari, task state govts

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As the global community celebrates the 2018 World Photo Day on Sunday, Photojournalists Association of Nigeria (PJAN), Abuja Chapter, has underscored the important contribution of photography to national development.

To this end, the Chairman of the association, Mr Yomi Fayese, has urged state governments to emulate the Federal Government by appointing qualified photographers to high positions in their various governments.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, Fayese lauded the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for promoting the development of photography as a trade and profession.

Fayese noted that for a long time in Nigeria’s development previous military and civilian governments never appointed any photographer to a high position before this administration.

“Since the 1960s, neither the Federal nor state governments appointed a photographer in his professional capacity to the position of Personal Assistant to the President.

“I give kudos to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for appointing Sunday Aghaeze, Bayo Omoboriowo and others, as Personal Assistants on Photography and Documentation in the Presidency.

“I challenge state governors to emulate the Federal Government by appointing qualified photographers to high positions.

“We have over 5,000 professional photographers plying their trade in Nigeria and there is no reason why some of them cannot get government appointments and National Awards they qualify for.

“Many of our photographers are highly educated and experienced to merit government appointments but previous administrations had always looked the other way when Nigerians are to be given appointments.”

Similarly, Zacchaeus Tidzalla, Blueprint Newspaper’s State House Photographer, extolled the contributions of photographers to national development, saying: “Photographs speak volumes.

“A photographer can vividly portray what a written story of more than 1,000 words cannot do.

“Many of us were born after Nigeria’s independence in 1960. It is the photographs of pre-independent Nigeria and the hand-over of the colonial masters to the Nigerian elite that give us an idea of what things looked like then.

“About two years ago, a Nigerian photojournalist captured vividly how some soldiers were brutalising a civilian on the street of Nyanya in Abuja; the photograph was published by a Nigerian newspaper and government reacted swiftly.

“That single photograph drew the attention of the public and the government to a wrongful act of some men in uniform; and has led to the establishment of military-civil relations by the army.

“Photographers, through their work, have been able to document facts and realities about some ills in the society”, Tidzalla told NAN.

In a separate interview with NAN, Femi Adebesin-Kuti, Photo Editor of the Guardian Newspaper, said that Nigerian photographers compare favourably with their foreign counterparts in the areas of reporting sports, oil and gas, tourism and corporate world, among others.

Adebesin-Kuti urged Nigerian photographers to improve on the practice of photography from where notable photographers such as Peter Obe, Sam Olusegun and Sunmi Smart-Cole left it.

Also speaking with NAN, Olayinka Akintunde, Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance on Media and Communications noted that photojournalism had helped to enhance and re-define journalism through the use of photographs in reporting of news in print, electronic and online media.

“Photojournalism has opened up new avenues for gathering news from small, self-published newsletters, to the online blog.

“These new avenues mean an increased market and an accelerated pace for the transmission of news through photographic images,” Akintunde said.

NAN reports that World Photography Day is observed worldwide on Aug. 19 every year to inspire understanding of the importance of photography.

On this occasion, millions of people capture capture different ideas and share their world with others and try bringing more happiness through photography.

The day inspires many photographers around the world to disseminate their idea of a single picture with their single purpose, yet motivating multiple minds to think different.

  1. This day witnessess a global gallery of images being captured by different people with different skills and levels of knowledge across the world. (NAN)

Biola Lawal

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