Delta State government has given reasons why it is hosting this year’s All Nigeria Editors’ Conference in the state.
The flagship annual conference, which is organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), is being hosted by the Delta State government this year in Asaba.
According to the state government, it decided to play host to the conference this year because it believed that the Nigerian media remained a critical stakeholder in the nation’s effort to advance the cause of democracy.
The state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, who gave the clarification, said Delta State government under Governor Ifeanyi Okowa being a model for and promoter of democratic ideals was impressed with the theme of the conference which is: Credible Elections, Sustainable Democracy and the Nigerian Media.
“The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, being an apostle of credible election as an enabler for sustainable democracy was particularly excited at the theme because it reflects vividly his firm belief that the sustainability of any democracy is dependent on the credibility of the electoral process.
“Recall that between last December and now, Okowa has chaired two national conventions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the first being the convention which produced Prince Uche Secondus, the current Chairman of the party and last weekend’s convention which produced former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential flag-bearer of the party. Both processes were largely acknowledged as free, fair and credible,” he said.
According to the commissioner, the event would provide editors a rare opportunity to see, first-hand, the development strides of the governor across all sectors in all the senatorial districts of the state.
The conference, which commenced yesterday, will end October 10 to 14th in Asaba.
The Chairman, Planning Committee of the conference, Mr. Ken Ugbechie, said the theme was chosen to reflect the prevailing political reality in the country. The keynote would be delivered by the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
The President of the Guild, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, explained the choice of the theme, stressing that it was informed by an urgent and compelling responsibility of the Guild to plot a roadmap to 2019 as a watchdog with a duty to provide unbiased, fair and objective coverage of the elections especially in the face of a monetised electoral system.