Speech By The General Secretary Nigerian Guild Of Editors Mr. Iyobosa Uwugiaren At The North-West Town Hall Meeting On January 19, 2022, Kano

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  • Posted by: Imoh Robert

Why We Are In Kano

We are happy to be in the ancient city of Kano.

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has today slated its Town Hall Meeting for the North-West geo-political zone.

The NGE, late last year, announced its plans to hold town hall meetings across the six geo-political zones, kicking off that of the South-West zone in November last year, in Lagos.

With a theme: ‘’Agenda Setting for Sustainable Democratic Culture’’, the main objective of the meeting, which is being supported by the United States (US) Embassy in Nigeria, is to assess the media performance in consolidating Nigeria’s democracy – citizens’ verdict and outlining media agenda for the future.

READ ALSO: Speech Delivered By President Of The Nigerian Guild Of Editors, Mustapha Isah, At The North-West Town Hall Meeting On January 19, 2022 At Tahir Guest Palace, Kano

While journalists have a constitutional responsibility of holding the government to account to the people, we also believe the media should account to its readers and viewers. This morning we want to hear from you, your verdict about the media: what are we doing right? What are we not right? And how do think we can improve on our responsibility to you? Be part of the conversation this morning. Your voices are very important.

The meeting provides a platform for you to remind editors and other media managers of the sacred duties they are tasked to perform by the constitution on behalf of the citizens.

Drawing abundant instances from democracies around the world, the meeting, will be taken across the six geo-political zones of the country, with aim of instilling in the editors the need to perform their duties with the highest form of professional standards and sense of responsibility.

The town hall meeting also provides a platform for media stakeholders to undertake self-scrutiny and also begin a robust conversation on a framework for media regulation, which will not only have their buy-in but also advance the standard for media practice in Nigeria thereby reducing, if not eliminate, incidents of sub-standard and unprofessional reportage in the Nigerian media.

Such robust conversations, hopefully, will eventual lead to adoption of self-regulatory framework that  could have a regional spin-off whereby countries within the region, and indeed Africa, could be encouraged to borrow a leaf from the Nigerian example, as was the case with the adoption of a Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria subsequently having a positive spin-off in Ghana.

At the end of the meeting and the capacity building workshop, we expect that a pool of Nigerian editors and media managers would be galvanised and would be committed to the highest ethical standard and taking robust actions to ensure same. And committed to the promotion and protection of the right to independent press, freedom of expression and the deepening of democratic space.

The NGE is hopeful that at the end of the project, a pool of editors will be mobilised to constantly projecting issue-based governance for the benefit of the Nigerian people – in line with Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’’, the statement added.

The programme looks to galvanise the key stakeholders to act responsibly and deny the authorities the moral authority to take punitive actions against the media for performing their constitutionally assigned role to hold the government to account, and to the general citizens the right to hold and voice their opinions on the conduct of public officers.

We are very excited to welcome students, journalists, pro-media rights activists, labour groups, faith groups, members of the civil society groups and other stakeholders to this gathering. Let the conversation start now. Thank you so much.

Author: Imoh Robert

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