The Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfattah Ahmed, on Monday assured the International Press Institute (IPI) of support to ensure that Nigeria successfully host the IPI World Congress in June.
The governor, while receiving a delegation of the IPI Congress Media and Publicity Committee, which was on advocacy visit to his office in Ilorin, said he would sponsor journalists from the state to the IPI World Congress in Abuja in June.
He urged the Nigerian media to use the world assemblage of journalists in Abuja to promote positive developments in the country .
According to him, â€œThe IPI World Congress should be used to showcase the best of Nigeria and its uniqueness as a united and vibrant country despite its challenges.â€
Ahmed stated that he believed in free press towards ensuring adequate information dissemination to the people within and outside the country.
Earlier, Chairman of the IPI Congress Media and Publicity Committee, Dr. Tony Iredia, had sought the support of the state government for journalists from the state to attend the world congress in Abuja, which would feature among others, trainings and interactions with media experts across the globe.
He also stressed the need for a free press that will be alive to its constitutional responsibility of making the government accountable to the people.
The head of media committee said there could only be a free press when journalists are not harassed by security agents while they are performing their duties and if they are given the necessary tools to work and are timeously paid their salaries.
Iredia added that the IPI World Congress would also present an opportunity to the Nigerian media and other stakeholders to change the negative reportage of events about the country.
In addition to the visit to the governor, the delegation of the IPI Congress Media and Publicity Committee were also at Kwara Radio and NTA Ilorin, where it solicited their support for the success of the congress.
At the two broadcasting stations, Iredia urged their managements to ensure that they create adequate awareness through news coverage, jingles and other editorial support for the congress.
As part of the advocacy visits in Kwara State, the delegation visited National Pilot Newspaper and the NUJ Kwara State council office where a special congress was held to sensitise journalists on the importance of Nigeria hosting the congress and the need for them to contribute to a hitch-free outing.
Besides Iredia, other members of the IPI Congress Media and Publicity Committee delegation are the President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Waheed Odusile; Secretary, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Victoria Ibanga; Chairman, Lagos State Council of NUJ, Qasim Akinreti; Secretary IPI Nigeria, Alhaji Raheem Adedoyin; a former Managing Editor of New Telegraph Newspapers, Yemi Ajayi, and Editor, The Herald Newspaper, Yomi Adeboye.