The Colorades Event Centre in Lagos played host to the crème-de-la-crème of the media business last week as a fresh news print and online platform, The Nigerian Xpress, floated by a veteran journalist, Mr Steve Nwosu was launched. It was on Saturday, December 22, 2018. Starting with the venue and the calibre of people invited to grace the occasion, the event had different dimensions of fun as guests came in gorgeously dressed for the august occasion. Although it looked like a journalists’ hangout at the beginning, the cool music that flowed from the turntable of the disc jockey gave the event the expected mood of fun, relaxation, party and as well as relevant discussions to position the fourth estate of the realm back to where it rightly belongs in the society.
GBENGA ADEYINKA THE FIRST PLAYS THE ANCHOR ROLE
A first class event in Nigeria is most likely determined by the pedigree of the anchor and the public presentation of the Nigerian Xpress couldn’t be rated less as popular anchor and comedian of the federal republic, Gbenga Adeyinka the first didn’t just compere but perfomed live comedy at intervals to the listening pleasures of the guests.
REV ONWUZE ALFRED, MR USTAZ SOLANKE TAKE OPENING PRAYER
One peculiar aspect of the event was the fact that it was devoid of religious sentiments as the opening prayer was taken in both the Christian and Islam way. Rev Onwuze Alfred led the audience to take the Christian version of the prayer while the assistant copy director of radio Nigeria, Mr Ustaz Solanke immediately took over to lead the same congregation in the Islam version.
MEET THE LATEST PUBLISHER IN TOWN
Mr Steve Nwosu is a veteran journalist who is also married to another journalist. The publisher of the Nigerian Xpress was like a new bride on that day as the smiles beaming on his face expressed delight and fulfilment. He was saddled with the responsibility of taking the Welcome address and though his speech was very concise, he pointed out the fact that what was being unveiled was a dream that he had incubated for long.
“This is the coming together of some young and vibrant journalists to see to the contribution of journalism in Nigeria. The Nigerian Xpress is set to bridge the gap between the traditional and online media which is the future of journalism in the country.
“We are set out to be strong on interviews and citizens generated contents, to bring readers news as it breaks and news as they like it and we promise to be fair and fearless,” he concluded his thoughts.
MR TUNJI BELLO DELIVERS CHAIRMAN’S SPEECH
The Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr Tunji Bello was the co-chairman of the day and he was billed with delivering a speech at the event. He proved himself to be a man of very few but weighty and impactful words as he walked up to the podium with confidence and pride to speak with his “colleagues”.
He expressed delight in what the team is doing and stated categorically that Nigeria is going to be blessed with a very fine competitor in the news business. He further pledged his unwavering support for the platform as he concluded his remarks.
EX-MINISTER, DR NURUDEEN MUHAMMAD ALSO TAKES CHAIRMAN’S SPEECH
Dr Nurudeen Muhammad was Nigeria’s youngest minister in this democratic era. He became a supervising minister of foreign affairs at the age of 33 under the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, and he was the co-chairman at the event. He also delivered a brief but highly impactful speech. He noted that he had been a beneficiary and victim of the media but stated out rightly that sensationalism doesn’t sell news; (though it might at the instance) but in the long run, it hurts the credibility of the source and medium. He further advised Mr Steve Nwosu and his team to ensure that his platform is credible, balanced and non-sentimental, noting that credibility is all that sells news. He concluded his speech by saying “how we communicate Nigeria to the outside world, how we narrate it, how we discuss it is very important” because the black race is waiting for a country that can organise its people to become a super power in the world and with the variables on ground, only Nigeria has the potentials to do that.”
DG NBC, MALAM IS’HAQ MODIBBO KAWU DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS
The Director-General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Malam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu was the keynote speaker of the day and he delivered his speech which was themed ‘2019: the media and the challenges of free and fair elections’. His address revealed that the media has slacked in its role of gate keeping and no longer plays up the dire need of the society in order to ensure that the ideal candidates emerge during elections. He cited an example from the just concluded vice presidential debate organised by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and opined that the debate did not really focus on the dire needs of Nigerians which could have an effect on the outcome of the forthcoming elections.
MEET THE NIGERIAN XPRESS TEAM
The Nigerian Xpress team according to the publisher, Mr Steve Nwosu, comprises of young, vibrant and indefatigable journalists who are rated veterans on the field. The team leaders have each spent well over a decade in the business and have been adjudged the best hands from the different platforms they all came from.
Mr Obioma Okupe, Head of finance and admin, Mr Gbenga Alluo, sports editor, Ms Rose Moses, Editor at large, Yemisi Olusina, features editor, Mr Lekan Adeniran, Politics editor, Mr Emeka Okoroanyanwu, business editor, Mr Abdulfatah Oladeinde, editor and Mr Steve Nwosu, publisher and MD/CEO.
Present at the event was Rev Onwuze Alfred, Ex-Minister, Dr Nurudeen Muhammad, the secretary to the Lagos state government, Mr Tunji Bello, NBC, Malam Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, Commissioner for Tourism, Mr Steve Ayorinde, Provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Mr Gbenga Ogunleye, VP Siverbird Group, Mr Guy Murray Bruce, Publisher Yes Magazine, Mr Azu Arinze, Mr Akeem Bello, Hon Ahmed Konoike, Mr Kayode Akintemi, Comfort Obi, representative of Information Minister, Mr Lai Mohammed, Mrs Florence Ufeolu, Nollywood star, Ngozi Nwosu, Ex-Nigerian football star, Waidi Akanni, the assistant copy director of radio Nigeria, Mr Ustaz Solanke