Buhari, Soyinka, government expected at IPI congress in Abuja



President Muhammadu Buhari, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and state governors are among those confirmed to attend the 2018 World Congress of International Press Institute (IPI) scheduled for June. The 2018 IPI congress will hold at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. About 350 journalists from across the world are expected the congress, which is being hosted in Nigeria for the first time.

Revealing the confirmation of attendance of high profile individuals at a meeting of the 2018 IPI congress LOC at the corporate headquarters of The Sun newspaper yesterday, chairman of the Nigerian chapter of the global media body, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf, said President Buhari would declare the congress open, while Prof. Wole Soyinka will deliver a keynote address. Yusuf, who is chairman of Media Trust Limited, publisher of Daily Trust titles, also revealed that efforts were being made to have international dignitaries, including some African leaders in attendance at the world congress.

He said discussants at the congress would speak on topics relating to the challenges journalists face and proffer solutions to them. He urged Nigerian journalists to be part of the programme, which would go a long way in exposing the country positively to the world.

Meanwhile, the publicity sub-committee of the 2018 IPI congress has pledged to continue the sensitisation of journalists and Nigerians in general on the forthcoming congress. While briefing the meeting, its chairman, Dr. Tonnie Iredia, said members of the committee had travelled to Kwara and Rivers States to meet with stakeholders. He stated that the committee was making efforts to get the buy-in of governors so that they would sponsor journalists in their states to attend the congress.Iredia, who was Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), said the committee, in the coming weeks, will step up visitation to media houses to sensitise journalists.

He also said the committee would come up with programmes and jingles to mobilise Nigerians for the coming world congress. Spokesman of the 2018 IPI congress and Managing Director/Editor-in Chief of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Eric Osagie, said the congress was a rare opportunity for Nigeria to showcase its best.“It is also an opportunity to re-brand the country by proving to the world that Nigeria is not as bad as it is painted. It is one of the biggest tools to draw attention to not just the potential and greatness of Africa’s most populous nation, but to also demonstrate that Nigeria remains the leader in Africa.”

Present at the meeting were members of IPI and media executives, including Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, Chairman, ChannelsTV, Mr. John Momoh (represented by Ambrose Okoh, Manager, News), Chairman/CEO, Blueprint newspaper, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, veteran journalist, Mike Awoyinfa, Secretary of IPI, Mr. Raheem Adedoyin, Executive Secretary of Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Mr. Feyi Smith, communication practitioner and newspaper columnist, Kenneth Adewale, Mr. Yemi Ajayi, online publisher and secretary of Congress Media and Publicity committee and Mr. Yomi Adeboye, Editor of The Herald newspapers and other senior editors from major newspapers and broadcast media.