Buhari, at book launch, urges journalists to embrace friendship spirit
• Laments Dimgba Igwe’s murder
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged journalists in the country to imbibe the spirit of friendship and network so as to lift the pen profession.
The president, who spoke at the launch of 50 World Editors: conversations with Journalism Masters on Trends and Best Practices, commended the efforts of the authors and said the book will be of immense benefits to humanity.
At the late Dimgba Igwe’s anniversary book launch, which held yesterday at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, Buhari, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Information, Mrs. Oluseyi Abegunde, said: “Today ought to have been a good one, where a renowned writer would have seen his dream come true, but all we have now are memories, the memories of a man that was cut short trying to keep fit and live long on September 6 2014.”
While commending the effort and patience in making the book a reality, he said, “it is indeed a labour of love for journalism.”
Buhari said the book, which took Dimgba Igwe and Mike Awoyinfa 10 years to compile, will be useful not only to journalists, but to politicians, administrators, chief executive officers, managers and all, as it teaches practical journalism from experienced editors of famous media outfits across the globe.
The president also expressed satisfaction with the five Nigerian editors included in the book. “Like myself, Igwe belonged to everybody, but belonged to nobody, because of his ability to call a spade a spade. It is sad that he is no longer with us, he died as a true hero and a powerful columnist who could not condone corruption, injustice and unrighteousness.”
Buhari further expressed sadness over the circumstances that led to Igwe’s demise. He said: “It is so sad that for over three hours, he was being moved from one hospital to the other and still unable to safe his life until he bled to death, this is not acceptable in the new Nigeria.”
The chair of the event, former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, was emotional during his speech. He expressed concern over the kidnap of the wife of Deputy Managing Director of The Sun on Tuesday. Osoba urged the kidnappers to release her unharmed.
He also spoke about the programme on Aljazera that claims Nigerian journalists are beggars. “It is unfortunate that publishers find it difficult to pay their young employees,” the former governor said.
Mike Awoyinfa recounted their experience at The Concord where, “we were the masters at the act of casting headlines.”