Parley between Nigerian, Ethiopian journalists holds in Abuja

Bayo Onanuga, MD, News Agency of Nigeria speaking during the event.
Bayo Onanuga, MD, News Agency of Nigeria speaking during the event.

Nigerian journalists on Monday evening hosted a delegation of Ethiopian journalists who are in the country for a programme tagged “Uniting African Journalists.”

The U.S. Embassy in Abuja Nigeria and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, initiated the programme which is geared towards exchanging and promoting connections between journalists in Africa especially between Ethiopian and Nigerian journalists.

Channels Television, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Radio Nigeria (FRCN), PREMIUM TIMES, Daily Trust, and Cool/Wazobia/Nigeria Info are among six Nigerian institutions partnering with the U.S. Embassy to host the delegation of Ethiopian journalists during the four-day visit.

Representatives of the six Nigerian media partners accompanied by Embassy staff from Abuja will visit Ethiopia from November 27 on the reverse trip of the exchange program.

Mannir Dan Ali, the Executive Director, Daily Trust Newspaper, who set the event in motion gave a breakdown of the past, present and future of the Nigerian media.

He said the online media has changed the game.

While commending PREMIUM TIMES for being investigative, factual and objective, he said, “almost all 180 million Nigerians are now bloggers and journalists, that is why the need for factual reporting becomes essential.”

Mr. Ali described the Nigerian media as vibrant and free compared to other climes where the media is constantly under threat.

Bayo Onanuga, the managing director, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN agreed with Mr. Ali on the freedom of the Nigerian press.

He said the only time a prominent oppression of the press was witnessed in the country was in 1986 when one of Nigeria’s most iconic journalist and founding editor-in-chief of Newswatch Magazine, Dele Giwa, was killed through a parcel bomb.

“Our media should be likened to that of America, we fought for independence, fought against military oppression.

“The Mainagate scandal making rounds in the country was blown open by PREMIUM TIMES and that is the power of the media,” Mr. Onanuga said.

In his closing remark, Musikilu Mojeed, the Editor in Chief, PREMIUM TIMES, gave an insight on how tough and life threatening it is to do investigative journalism in Ethiopia.

He cited an incident where a reporter was charged with terrorism for receiving emails from a terrorist group.

Mr. Mojeed, however, urged the visiting Ethiopian journalists to feel free to pass across stories they feel uncomfortable to publish in their country.

“We are ready to welcome and publish such stories at PREMIUM TIMES,” he said.

Aruna Amirthanayagam, a representative of the U.S. embassy, earlier gave a warm welcome address to the visiting Ethiopian journalists.

The Ethiopian media partners for the event are: The Reporter Newspaper, Fortune Newspaper, Ethiopian Broadcasting Service, Sheger FM 102 Radio and Capital Newspaper-Crown Publishing.


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