Ripples Nigeria and Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ), organisers of the annual Ripples Nigeria Dialogue, have indefinitely postponed the 2020 edition of the dialogue over the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 dialogue was earlier slated for Thursday, April 16 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos.
The decision to postpone the event, the organisers said, was based on directives by state authorities to limit the number of people in a public gathering. Prior to the directives, the organisers revealed, they had already initiated wide consultation with public health and safety experts both within and outside the country on how best to manage the event given the pandemic.
Speaking about the postponement of the event, Editor-in-Chief of Ripples Nigeria and Executive Director of RCDIJ, Mr Ibemere Samuel, said “Ripples Nigeria Dialogue is usually home to hundreds of closely-interacting participants, some widely travelled, and we knew that with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had a responsibility to prioritise safety over everything else. This is exactly what we have done”.
He expressed the appreciation of the organisers to all selected speakers and intending participants for their interest and commitment during the planning of the event.
Mr Ibemere, on behalf of the organisers, also expressed “fervent hope that this public health challenge will become history as soon as possible”.
He pledged that “Ripples Nigeria and RCDIJ will maintain their current concerted effort towards providing enlightenment and safety information around the virus”.
Recall that in the last edition of the dialogue, Prof Wole Soyinka led other eminent speakers like former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, to discuss the theme ‘Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Nigeria’. The event witnessed hundreds of participants.