President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated veteran journalist, poet and author, Ben Lawrence, as he turns 80 on October 9, 2016.
The president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said this in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.
Adesina said the president joined the entire media industry and journalists in felicitating with the family and friends of “the renowned and fearless columnist.’’
According to Adesina, the president noted that his commitment to telling the truth through the pen, passion for promoting development communication and upholding the standards of journalism had earned him recognition and several awards.
“Lawrence’s vision of a pragmatic, responsive and agenda-setting media for the country should be upheld and pursued with vigour by all media professionals’’, he said.
Adesina said the president lauded the veteran journalist for always observing “the irreplaceable tenets of accuracy, balance, fairness and proper attribution.’’
“Buhari also commended him for always striking a delicate balance between his profession and the need to contribute to nation building, and providing mentorship to others.
“Buhari urged younger writers, especially citizen journalists and media entrepreneurs in the emerging cyber space, to borrow a leaf from veterans like Lawrence.
“His patriotism is unmistakable, and resolve remains unshakable, in ensuring that democracy and development worked for every Nigerian,’’Adesina said.
The president prayed that the almighty God would grant the veteran journalist good health, longer life and strength to keep writing.
Ben Lawrence was onetime Managing Editor of the Daily Times and Fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors.