Happening Now: All Nigeria Editors’ Conference Kicks off in Abuja

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Mr Ray Ekpu delivering his address at the All Editors Conference

 

The 17th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference, kicked off at 10 .20 am today, Thursday, 21 October at the Nigerian Airforce Conference Centre, Kado area of Abuja. The opening session was chaired by veteran journalist, Mr. Ray Ekpu. He lamented the doubts being expressed by Nigerians over Covid-19; the falling value of the Naira, the paradox of Nigeria, having crude oil but importing refined petroleum products, the wonky educational system that makes people to seek desperate alternatives. He advised government to find solutions to injustice, prebendalism and other grievances that make people to ask for secession.

On the security challenges, Ekpu identified seven anomalies. The first was that the security of Nigeria was being managed as if the country has homogenous culture. Second, governors are just chief security officers of their states only in name. Also, in many states, there are many forms of local policing, yet the Federal Government said there should be no state police. Worse still, a panel set up by the All Progressives Congress, chaired by Governor Nasir El-Rufai on restructuring refused to do anything on the matter. There is also the anomaly of South West, South East setting up Amotekun, Ebube Agu and the South South has resolved to come up with one. Unfortunately, the North East, North West and North Central that are the epicentres of insecurity have not followed suit. Number six anomaly is the use of the Army as law enforcement officers. The seventh one is that while the states provide more than one third of funding for the Police, it is wrong, as Ekpu submitted, for the Federal Government to refuse to allow state police.

He threw these challenges at the participants and the guests to chew during the two-day conference.

Publisher of Premium Times, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi; Editors-in-Chief of LEADERSHIP Newspaper, Azu Ishiekwene; 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, are scheduled to lead discussions.
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) have also been scheduled to be part of the conversation. Other state governors expected at the event include Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN (Ondo); Adegboyega Oyetola and others.

The conference with the theme, ‘’Media in Times of Crises: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus’’, has brought together editors and media owners across the country. Their foreign colleagues  also joined to discuss the security challenges in the country and agree on the solution to the raging strife. The conference, which is being supported by corporate organisations, including Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Glo, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Air Peace and Trustfund Pensions Limited, is currently taking place at the Nigerian Airforce Conference Centre, Kado area of Abuja.
Other promoters are Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Yobe State government. Olorunyomi, an accomplished internationally acclaimed investigative journalist and journalism teacher, would give the keynote address later today that would be discussed  security chiefs, including Monguno; Irabor; Director-General, Department ofState Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi; and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba.
In a statement issued early in the week 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 (he came) while the President, Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Malam Kabiru Yusuf, would be the Guest of Honour.‘’ They are here. The conference is ongoing.