The Editor-in-Chief/Chief Operating Officer of PREMIUM TIMES Nigeria, Musikilu Mojeed has emerged as the president of the Nigeria chapter of the International Press Institute (IPI).
He became president unopposed during a session of the General Assembly of the IPI, held physically, on Thursday in Abuja and virtually.
Also at the meeting, the General Manager, Business and Strategy of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust, Ahmed I. Shekarau, was elected Secretary of IPI Nigeria.
Shekarau won the majority of the votes cast at the election, defeating his only contender, Dr. Qasim Akinreti, who is the Deputy Director, Digital Media at the Voice of Nigeria.
A statement issued on Friday in Abuja by the Executive Board member of the global body of the Institute, Raheem Adedoyin, also announced the emergence, unopposed, of Rafatu Salami, Assistant Director, Digital Media of VON, as Treasurer.
The statement disclosed that the General Assembly mandated the newly-constituted executive committee to work towards filling the vacant positions of Deputy President, Assistant General Secretary, Financial Secretary and Legal Adviser, which were not filled on Thursday because there were no nominations into them.
The election was conducted by a three-member Electoral Panel, which had the Chairman of Daily Trust, Kabiru Yusuf; founder of Radio Now, Kadaria Ahmed; and Adedoyin as members.
The oath of office for the newly-constituted executive committee members was administered immediately after the General Assembly by a Lawyer/Notary Public, Zainab Musa.
The swearing-in of the executive committee was witnessed by Adedoyin and members of the Nigerian chapter of the Institute, among whom were a Director in Media Trust Limited, Mannir Dan-Ali; Chairman of the Editorial Board of Blueprint, Zainab Suleiman Okino; Deputy Editor, 21st Century Chronicle, Catherine Agbo; and Dr. Akinreti.
In his acceptance speech after his emergence as president, Mojeed, who expressed the appreciation of his team to all members of IPI Nigeria for the confidence reposed in them, assured that the new executive committee would work harder towards deepening press freedom and accelerating free speech in Nigeria, and the world at large.
“We will also work at deepening collaboration with newsrooms and other organisations in the defence of press freedom in Nigeria and elsewhere,” he said, adding: “We will implement measures and programmes that will make ours a stronger voice as we firmly stand up for media freedom, freedom of speech and the free flow of news and information whenever, wherever and however they are threatened.”
Continuing, the PREMIUM TIMES COO said: “Our team will also take a holistic look at the key issues confronting our newsrooms today and undermining press freedom one way and another. The issues include those concerning ethics, regulation, sustainability, credibility, and fake news.”
Mojeed and Shekarau took over from Yusuf and Adedoyin, who had piloted the affairs of the body for years as chairman and secretary respectively, and have since been elevated to the Board of Trustees of the organisation.
Other members of the Board of Trustees of IPI Nigeria are Ahmed; the Managing Director of ThisDay Newspapers, Eniola Bello; and veteran journalist and publisher of Newsport Online, Folu Olamiti.
The General Assembly of IPI Nigeria had at a session held on August 5 this year ratified proposals made for the expansion of its current executive council, which gave room for the creation of additional offices such as deputy president, assistant secretary and legal adviser.
The congress also approved the change in nomenclature of the highest leadership position in its executive council from being addressed as Chairman to President, while also adopting a proposal to adopt the name Secretary in place of General Secretary for its scribe.
The International Press Institute is a global network of media executives, editors and leading journalists.
Since its establishment in 1950, it has consistently and strongly crusaded for media freedom in every corner of the world.
The Nigerian chapter of the Institute has also done the same to some degree, deploying the platform to resist brutal assaults on press freedom in Nigeria.