The seminar is aimed to extend the progressive debate over the rights and limits of both state and the mass media to the acquisition, management, publishing and distribution of information, under the contentious and nuanced codes and laws around freedom of speech and public access to information.

Discussion will specifically make references to particular sections of the Nigerian constitution, extant laws, including efforts at legislations and even judicial decisions and specific agency decisions that have been made and are shaping the civic space within which then Nigerian traditional and new media operate. This is to reveal their effect on national security from both state and civil society experiences.

In delivering on its purpose, discussants will attempt to address the following questions:

  • What is the nature of the relationship between the mass media and the Nigerian State?
  • What is national security and the roles and effect of the free press in protecting and
  • sustaining it?
  • Is a free press complimentary or inimical to national security, and what are their conditions and manifestations?
  • Should the level of capacity of government to provide security be a precondition to the extent of permissible freedom of press?
  • What are the perspectives of the mass media community on ethics and nationalism?
  • How does the state understand and agree with the oversight roles of the mass media in ensuring transparency and accountability in governance?
  • What is the extent of the knowledge, penetration and understanding of the Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria?
  • How can the relationship between the state and the mass media be projected to ensure a more liberal civic space that is supportive of the promotion of effective national security?



  • Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje – Moderator
  • Lt. Gen (Rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau – Special Guest (special address)
  • Mr. Cheta Nwanze – Speaker
  • Brig. Gen Sani Kukasheka (Rtd) – Speaker
  • Mr. Emeke Izeze – Speaker
  • Brig. Gen Saleh Bala (Rtd) – Convener