Jeyifo speaks on the Freedom of Information Act at 2013 Wole Soyinka lecture

Prof Wole Soyinka

Biodun Jeyifo is a Professor of English of Harvard’s African American Studies Department.

A renowned Professor of English at Harvard’s African American Studies Department, Biodun Jeyifo, will be speaking on the theme, “The Freedom of Information Act and the Dictatorship of Corruption and Mediocrity,” at the 2013 Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism lecture.

The lecture, the Fifth in the Centre’s Media Lecture Series, will hold on Saturday, July 13, at the Bola Akinyemi Hall of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island by 10 a.m.

A statement by the coordinator of the centre, Motunrayo Alaka, Thursday, said the Centre chose the theme of this year’s lecture to draw attention to the need to increase awareness on the Freedom of Information Act to Nigerian citizens and propagate its usefulness as a tool to tackle the now endemic issue of corruption, mediocrity and impunity in the country.

The statement added that, the lecture also “hopes to highlight the media as a focal institution in ensuring the implementation of the Act”.

Other speakers at the event will include Abike Dabiri-Erewa – Member, House of Representatives, Ikorodu Federal Constituency; Chidi Odinkalu – Chairman, National Human Rights Commission; and Peter Carter – Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission; to allow for a robust, educative, and intellectually stimulating session whose recommendations will thereafter be published and forwarded to key stakeholders.

The Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series is designed to periodically examine varying topical issues that have reverberating effects on perceived performance of the media, on the health of Nigeria and its democracy. It intends to contribute to the body of knowledge of practitioners as well as increase awareness and debate around the nexus of media practice and socio-political development issues in the country.

The programme was first held in 2008 and has since 2009 been traditionally hosted on July 13, which, this year, is Professor Wole Soyinka’s 79th birthday, to honour the illustrious Nigerian and global citizen whilst drawing attention to critical national issues.
The 2013 edition is supported by the State of Osun, Zmirage light and sound, sunset cafe, Lagos State Government, among others. The lecture programme has in the past beamed searchlight on issues ranging from the role of the media in narrating the Nigerian story; local governance and the media; as well as on civil liberties in an age of terror.


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