Concerned Nigerians from various walks of life were present at the fourth Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series held at the NECA Hall, Lagos to listen to the lecture and discuss the theme – ‘Media and civil liberties when the clouds of fear gather’ on Friday 13 July, 2012 towards contributing to the resolution of the current security crisis in the country.
Mallam Mohammed Haruna, the Executive Director of Tawada Media Limited and a respected political analyst, was the key speaker at the event. His incisive lecture highlighted inadequate quality education, poverty and challenges with the provisions of the law as responsible for reactions such as the recent surge of violent attacks by the Boko Haram sect.
For the Discussants, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, President of the Guild of Editors; Colonel Gabriel Ajayi (Rtd), who represented Comrade Shehu Sani; Mr. Patrick Obuseh, representing Mr. John Momoh; empowering the media with sufficient training on conflict reporting, equipping the police for the present security challenge, decentralisation of the country’s security structure and system, and the need for the media to embrace professionalism which is against stereotyped reportage of issues to allow for balanced news rendering are important to managing the security crisis. They also buttressed the need for a sovereign conference.
The Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series is designed to periodically examine topical issues that impact on perceived performance of the media, on the health of our country, and its democracy. It hopes to contribute to the body of knowledge of practitioners as well as increase awareness and debate around media practice and social political development in the country.
The programme, first held in 2008, has since 2009 been hosted traditionally on July 13, which this year is Professor Wole Soyinka’s 78th birthday, to honour the illustrious African whom the Centre is named after, while drawing attention to current national issues.
The Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture series has in its wake respected personalities like; Professor Harry Garuba of the African Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Dr. Olatunji Dare, an Associate Professor of Journalism at Bradley University, Peoria Illinois USA and a former editorial page editor of The Guardian Newspaper; and Professor Bayo Olukoshi, Director of United Nations African Institute of Economic Development and Planning (UNIDEP), Dakar as guest speakers.
The stimulating discussions produced recommendations which the Centre will publish and forward to all stakeholders in due course.