Senate President, Bukola Saraki hosted a farewell dinner for the International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress 2018, saying the hosting of the congress will go a long way to improve the image of Nigeria and the African continent.
Saraki who called on both national and international press to support Nigeria once again to ensure credible elections in 2019, added that there can be no democracy without credible elections.
In the speech he delivered at the dinner on Saturday night, the senate president stated that ‘’we have to get the election right in order to have a better chance of making a stronger society”.
‘’We welcome this visit of the IPI to Nigeria and we call for more regular visits, and indeed annual congresses, in this part of the world.
‘’This, I believe, will make for better understanding of Nigerians and Africans in the eyes of the international media. When international journalists themselves come in our midst and get the right position about Africa, the image of our continent will start to improve in the eyes of the world out there.
‘’You will agree with me that negative stereotypes of the so-called ‘dark continent’ have been bandied about for too long.
This has had an unfortunate effect on the development of Africa, as well as the sense of pride and dignity of young Africans down the ages’’, Saraki stated.
Now, more than ever, the media must be proactive in defending the people’s right to know. In spite of the obstacles, the press must press on, because it is its responsibility to help society know itself better. The press must press on.
The Senate president however recalled how he was contacted in February this year to support the coming of IPI world congress to Nigeria, just as he seized the opportunity to praise the hosting committee in Nigeria.
‘’I congratulate the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Nigerian Hosting Committee (NHC) headed by Prince Nduka Obaigbena on the successful hosting of this World Congress and General Assembly.
‘’When the IPI Director, Ms. Barbara Traofi, called at my office along with a delegation including the Nigerian Hosting Committee back in February, I was most enthusiastic in signaling my support for the Congress holding in our country’’.
International Press Institute (IPI) is a global organisation dedicated to the promotion and protection of press freedom and the improvement of journalism practices. Founded in October 1950, the IPI has members in over 120 countries.
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