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You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>> Text of NGE President’s speech at CNN Award
Sunday, 22 July 2012 20:15

Text of NGE President’s speech at CNN Award

Written by GBENGA Adefaye
GBENGA Adefaye GBENGA Adefaye punch

Gbenga Adefaye, President of Nigerian Guild of Editors NGE)  made below presentation at  CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards ceremony, held at Lusaka, Zambia.

 

"NO TERROR CAN SUBSUME OUR PRESS" -  Gbenga

 

Nine months ago, insurgents struck with terror at journalism practice in my country- Nigeria. Zakariya Isa, a journalist with the government owned Nigerian Television Authority was shot dead in front of his home in Maiduguri. Zakariya left widows, children and other dependants.

 

Three months later, Eneche Akogwu, the 31 year old, set-to- wed vibrant reporter with a  private television station, CHANNELSTV, Lagos was also shot dead while covering the activities of the insurgents in another city – Kano. Eneche left aged parents and a distraught fiancée. I doubt if those gentlemen had life insurance cover.

 

It is a running story: in April, three newspapers, Thisday, SUN and The Moment were bombed simultaneously in Abuja and Kaduna. Boko Haram have claimed responsibility for the killings and the bombings.  They have threatened more assault on free press and free speech.

 

The insurgents want to determine  the content of our media. They threatened : you either report  our activities wholesale or you do no report on us at all. And if you must keep our stories out of your press, then you are barred from reporting security and government activities concerning us. Otherwise, you are also an enemy.

 

The insurgents do not discriminate in their attacks on the press. Practically, everyone who does not perform to their description of what is accurate news report is in danger. Periodically, threats are issued via the Internet against the press.

 

But I tell you, that is a mistake.

 

The Nigerian Press is too sophisticated to be so intimidated. Our story has always been  that when the press is threatened, it comes out stronger. Our press which survived the most brutal of military dictatorships and wears the battle scar as a badge of Honour, now complemented by a fast growing social media  will surely survive this current assault on free press and write the story thereafter.

 

I want to thank CNN and Multichoice sharing of our pains. Thank you for the empathy. Thank you particularly for the symbolic support for those left behind by Eneche and Zakariya

 

This solidarity can only push our press to be more courageous, daring and professional. On behalf of everyone, I want to make you a promise: the Nigerian press will continue to report the truth and speak truth to power. It is the minimum that we can do to the memory of the

courageous two who have fallen, in active service.

 

Thank you for the recognition.

 

GBENGA Adefaye

 

President, Nigerian Guild of Editors

 

Lusaka, Zambia

 

 

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