The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Owunari Georgewill has declared open the 72ND Annual International Communication Association conference ICA, Port Harcourt Regional Hub with the theme:One world, one network.
The Vice-Chancellor who is also the chief host described the gathering as a unique global platform for communication scholars adding that the theme is apt, especially at a time when there are emphasis on harnessing the interconnectivity of the world.
He further stressed the need for more communication scholarships to aid research in policy-relevant areas and overall knowledge advancement.
Speaking during the opening of the event, organizer of the Port Harcourt region, Ekaete George expressed optimism that the creation of the regional hub will put the country and state in the global scheme of things.
The regional organizer who also commended the University of Port Harcourt for its support of the success of the program encouraged attendees to seize the opportunity to let their voices be heard.
Delivering a segment of the first paper on “Media Coverage of Nigerian Elections: Recurring Themes from the 2015 and 2019 Presidential Elections with the 2023 Campaign in View” lead speaker, Professor Mohammed Musa x-rayed the several elections in the country from 1957 and how events surrounding them have affected the credibility of the elections.
He cited the 2011 and 2015 general elections and the decrease in electoral violence and litigations and the spirit of sportsmanship shown by former-President Goodluck Jonathan.
The speaker however stated that there has been a massive decline in the quality of elections since 2019. A situation he says has affected the stability of the government and the attraction of foreign investments in the country.
Responding to some of the papers delivered, the resident’s electoral officer, Oboh Effangha dispelled talks about the dwindling quality of elections in the country.
According to him, recent events from the last general elections show that people are gaining confidence in the electoral process.
He however regretted the voter empathy by the elitist groups while also urging media houses to drive conversations around the electioneering messages and issues concerning Nigerians. The hybrid conference is held at the University of Port Harcourt, Business School.
Reporting by Phinehas Udoeyo, editing by Daniel Adejo