DAWN Commission Plays Host to the Fathers of Television in Western Nigeria

Dr. Yemi Farounbi Visits DAWN (WNTV Alumni) 2

…60 Years of Television in Africa
…Diamond Jubilee Anniversary Celebration

As part of activities to celebrate 6 Decades of Television Service in Nigeria, the Alumni of Western Nigeria Television (WNTV) paid DAWN Commission a visit. The team was led by Ambassador Dr. Yemi Farounbi, a Veteran Journalist and Ace Broadcaster in the company of Oloye Lekan Alabi, a Veteran Journalist and Public Relations Consultant and also the Agba Akin Olubadan of Ibadanland; former General Manager of the Western Nigeria Television, Chief Adebisi Adesola; Rev. Biodun Aladekomo; Mr. Ayo Babajide; Elder Bode Oyewole, Publisher, The Sketch Newspapers.

Ambassador Dr. Yemi Farounbi spoke today at the courtesy visit to DAWN Commission alongside his team members under the auspices of ‘Africa First Television Alumni Association’ in preparation towards the 60th Anniversary of the Africa first Television station in October and also to celebrate the commissioning of WNTV on the 31st of October, 1959 by Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

He emphasized the need for us as a people to preserve our History. According to him, Western Nigeria is home to many ‘firsts’ which include the establishment of the foremost tertiary institutions in Nigeria namely; The University of Ibadan and the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), as well as the first Teaching Hospital in West Africa; The University College Hospital (UCH). The first skyscraper in Nigeria; The Monumental Cocoa House, the first modern Stadium; The Liberty Stadium, the first five-star Hotel; The Premier Hotel, just to mention a few.
The Western Region of Nigeria also boasts of the first Television Station in Africa; The Western Nigeria Television (WNTV), established 60 years ago in October 1959, ahead of many European countries, including France.

Dr. Farounbi said he believes very strongly that the most important aspect of Education is History and this is a strong opportunity to preserve the Yoruba culture; to this effect the Alumni Association would be launching three books on the authentic History of WNTV, reminiscences by older staff of WNTV and 60 years of Broadcasting in Nigeria and a documentary detailing the vision and growth of WNTV.

Dr. Yemi Farounbi with DAWN DG, Mr. Seye Oyeleye

He further explained that no effort must be spared in ensuring that the History of Yoruba Nation is preserved, noting that time had come to fast track building regional infrastructures, such as the NTA office to promote Regional Integration.

The Agba Akin Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oloye Lekan Alabi reiterated the importance of preserving our history and heritage. Oloye Alabi, who was the pioneer Public Affairs Manager of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, the biggest indigenous conglomerate in West Africa, said had it not been for Chief MKO Abiola, the Odu’a Investment Company Ltd. would have been history.

He went on to say that the then President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida, gave a decree to dissolve the company and instructed that the Governors should not meet under any circumstance.

The Director General of DAWN Commission, in person of Mr. Oluseye Oyeleye, commended the laudable efforts of the Association in setting the records of the Yoruba nation straight. He affirmed that the objective of the Alumni Association is in line with that of DAWN Commission, especially in the aspect of documenting History.

Finally, he pledged the full support of the DAWN Team to the Association and its set objectives in terms of publicity.

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