Today, Wednesday December 1, 2021, is a significant day in the life of one of Nigeria’s powerful voices in the media landscape:THISNIGERIA. Slightly over one year ago, September 28, 2020, we hit the newsstands as a newspaper of consequence.
Day after day, week after week, month after month, we have continued to serve Nigerians and the rest of the world with credible, unbiased, objective news reports, analysis, commentaries on virtually every subject. Not to mention our creatively designed newspaper which knowledgeable consumers of our products have continued to applaud.
We are indeed humbled by the goodwill and testimonies we have garnered in so short a time. If you have not taken note of what we are doing at THISNIGERIA, we assure you that sooner or later, you will.
It is our inaugural lecture as a national print and digital newspaper. In the spirit of the times, we are not rolling out any drums. Rather, we have chosen to gather some of the country’s egg-heads and nimble public intellectuals to reflect, in a sober mood, on the state of the nation.
All roads therefore lead to Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja where some of Nigeria’s best minds are set to dissect issues confronting our nationhood. Dr. John Kayode Fayemi CON, Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), is chairman of the occasion.
Fayemi is a distinguished Nigerian public intellectual with a Ph.D in War Studies, who is passionate about the Nigerian Project. No less a personality than Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah will deliver the guest lecture . He will speak on the topic: “National cohesion for sustainable growth and progress: The Nigeria dilemma.”
An intellectual giant, Kukah, 69, is the current Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. Fearless, articulate and knowledgeable, Kukah was in December 2020, appointed by Pope Francis, as a member of the Dicastery on Integral Human Development. He got his Ph.D, from the University of London in 1990.
Other participants are Prof Tonnie Iredia, OON. Iredia, a lawyer and media icon will moderate the event. He was former Director-General of the Nigeria Television Authority where he left indelible marks.
Chief Mike Ozekhome, Ph.D, SAN, one of Nigeria’s most vibrant lawyers, human rights activist celebrated for his work as a constitutional lawyer and prolific author will discuss Bishop Kukah’s paper.
He will be joined by Comrade Issa Obalowa Aremu, mni, the urbane and brilliant trade unionist, labour leader and activist.
Aremu is immediate past Secretary General of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria and currently Vice President of the Industrial Global Union.
He is, since September 2021, the Director General (DG) of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, Nigeria.
The event, which promises to attract leaders from all walks of life including politics, diplomacy, business community and the media, is designed to further deepen discussions on Nigeria and the way out of the myriad issues confronting her.
According to Mr. Eric Osagie, Publisher/Chief Executive Officer of THIS NIGERIA, the event was conceptualised as the newspaper’s contribution to critical nation-building.
For him, “We are a newspaper of the people, by the people and for the people. That’s why we are called THIS NIGERIA. We believe Nigeria is a great country that should have been greater, but for myriad issues confronting her and reasons occasioned by failure of successive leadership. However, we believe that crucial conversations on the state and future of our union are a sine qua non to her reaching the heights of her potentials. Our annual lecture series will hopefully deepen national conversations on the nation of our dreams, our fears and faith in the democratic project.”
Osagie, who doubles as the Editor-in-Chief, says: “ We know where we are going. We may be young as a brand now, but we are undaunted. Our team has the skill and drive to position our newspaper as a leading brand in a not-too distant time. We urge advertisers to keep faith and key in. We are a moving train. And there is no stopping us.”
Like the former United States First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt has said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Beyond discharging our mandate of agenda-setting, we share in the dream of a new, prosperous, secure and equitable Nigeria. If this represents a message, then THIS NIGERIA is the messenger. This is our word. And our bond!