By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – VETERAN Journalist and publisher of Vanguard Media Limited, Mr. Sam Amuka, Publisher of This Day Newspapers and Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, as well as Ismaila Isa led the board of the Nigerian chapter of the International Press Institute to meet with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Amuka, who is the Chairman of Vanguard media and Isa are patrons of IPI and had gone to meet the Acting President to intimate him on the forthcoming world congress of the Institute expected to hold in Abuja in June 2018.
Speaking at the closed-door meeting, the Acting President said that in line with the commitment to promote private sector partnership, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration will partner the Nigerian chapter of IPI to host a hitch-free 2018 World Congress of the Global Network of Free Media.
According to him, “It is a very important opportunity for Nigeria to showcase ourselves and also to show that Nigeria is safe and secure for business. It is also an opportunity to advertise all of our ease of doing business initiatives.’’
The Acting President also assured the visiting IPI board that states could participate in the hosting of the event especially as it provides “an important opportunity for tourism and for them to showcase some of the great initiatives that they have.’’
He urged the local organizing committee to consider putting on the agenda of the event, the issue of hate speech and its implications for our polity and for peace and security.
According to him, “the forum is an important one for raising the question of hate speech and its implications for our country, for our polity and for peace and security.’’
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the Vice President) , Laolu Akande added further stated: “somehow these things are resonating all over the world, new found nationalism and all of that. But I think for us here in Nigeria, it is a very important issue.
“I think that it is important that we find ways of controlling these things. I think that we owe a responsibility, especially leaders of journalism, to find ways of dealing with this issue because it is a cancer.’’
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and chairman of Thisday newspaper, Chief Nduka Obaigbena solicited the support of the Federal Government in the hosting of the event in different areas including, the provision of a secured and safe environment for delegates, visas on arrival amongst others.
Obiagbena stated that the issue of hate speech will indeed form one of the thematic issues to be discussed during the IPI congress.
He thanked the Acting President for the pledge to support IPI Nigeria in the hosting a hitch-free congress.