The roiling security situation in Nigeria takes centre stage as the country’s editors (print, broadcast, electronic, online) converge in Abuja for the 17th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference.
The confab kicked off in grand style with a lecture delivered by the Publisher of Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi. The session had as discussants: Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, Editor-in-Chief of LEADERSHIP newspaper; Minister of Works, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and other security chiefs.
Also scheduled to be part of the conversation are some state governors with security challenges, including: Dr Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Malam Nasiru El-Rufai (Kaduna); Alhaji Yaya Bello (Kogi); Seyi Mankide (Oyo); Alhaji Bello Matawalle (Zamfara); Prof Babagana Umara Zulum (Borno), and Chief David Nweze Umahi (Ebonyi).
Other state governors expected at the event include, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN (Ondo); Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun) and others.
The conference with the theme, Media in Times of Crises: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus, brings together editors and media owners across the country, as well as their foreign colleagues who, in the next two days, will discuss the security challenges in the country and agree on the way out of the quagmire.
The conference, supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and other corporate organisations like the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Glo, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Air Peace, and Trustfund Pensions Limited, will take place at the Nigerian Airforce Conference Centre, Kado, Abuja.
Other promoters are: Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Yobe State government.
As stated, Olorunyomi, an accomplished internationally acclaimed investigative journalist and journalism teacher, gives the keynote address that would be discussed by security chiefs, including Monguno; Irabor; Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Yusuf Bichi; and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Baba.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the President, Mustapha Isah and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), said Kyari would be the Special Guest of Honour, while the President, Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Malam Kabiru Yusuf, would be the Guest of Honour.
“A doyen of the media, Mr. Ray Ekpu, would chair the opening session with Fashola and others, including President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Chris Isiguzo, and foreign ambassadors giving goodwill messages.
“Besides the opening session, the conference would have three others; the second session for the Day 1 of the conference has a paper titled, ‘’Conflict Reporting: The Editor as a Mediator’’, to be delivered by the Editor-in-Chief, Leadership Newspapers, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene.
“The paper would be discussed by Editor-in-Chief, 21st Century Chronicle, Dr. Mahmud Jega; Director-General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Mr. Mansur Liman; and another leading journalist, Mr. Emmanuel Yawe. Noted broadcaster, Ms. Kadaria Ahmed, would chair the session.”
The statement said that the morning session of the Day 2, Friday, October 22, would have Managing Director, Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL), Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, presenting a paper, ‘’Accessing Capital for Alternative Career Development for Editors.’’
Discussants at the session to be chaired by the Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, are former NGE President, Mrs. Funke Egbemode; Managing Director of New Telegraph Newspapers, Mr. Ayodele Aminu; and Executive Director (News), FRCN, Mr. Sani Sulieman.
The afternoon session with the theme, “Security Challenges: Recovering Lost Grounds” , which the statement explained, would be attended by state governors, will be chaired by the Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi.
“The conference is to be rounded off in the evening with the induction of new fellows and members of the Guild,” the statement said.
Over 300 editors and media owners – from print, broadcast stations and online newspapers have registered for this year conference.