The defunct West African Pilot News has bounced back on the Nigerian news space.
The new medium which is packaged to be a New Year gift to Nigerians and Africans in general on an online platform is coming to reawaken a new spirit of Zikism in Nigeria and Africa.
Recall that the first Governor General of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe on November 22, 1937, established a The West African Pilot with the major aim to fight for independence of Nigeria, as well as other African countries from the British colonial rule.
Azikiwe personally edited the West African Pilot from 1937 to 1947. The quality of the publication won the hearts of both the colonialists and indigenes yearning for self-resurgence.
This newspaper thus championed national awareness and nationalistic ideas in the populace with its motto, “Show the light and the people will find the way.”
The West African Pilot went out of business in 1967 following the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War. Since then major attempts to resuscitate the publication was suppressed by mainstream political elite, who feared that it might accord the people an unprecedented voice over a contentious leadership structure.
Today, two professors from the School of Communication, Texas Southern University, United States, Dr. Chris Chinweuba Ulasi, and Dr. Anthony Obi Ogbo, have taken the bull by the horn to resuscitate the West African Pilot News, invoking the same fighting spirit of the 1930s, to once more give the common man a voice over a surmounting political, social, and economic environment.
The first project was the Pilot Media Inc., an American-based multinational mass media corporation with focusing mostly in news, television, and film. And then the West African Pilot News, also Pilot News structured as a political, community, and business-focused, English-language international news site based in Houston, Texas, United-States targeting news and events in the Sub Saharan Africa with emphasis to Nigeria.
The motto of the West African Pilot News is “The Spirit of Investigative Journalism.”
According to Dr. Ulasi “In an era with the influx of technology applications and availability of inexpensive publishing tools, the news industry has been under the threat of awfully substandard news delivery. Our platform is a trusted information hub for Africa and the African Diaspora.”
On his part, Dr. Ogbo said, “In sub-Saharan regions where democracy is under threat and freedom of speech not often guaranteed, the editorial team at the West African Pilot believes that a fearless and trusted voice was necessary.
“Protection of the First Amendment rights might not just be enough in sustaining a free society. We must also give people the platform to tell their stories their way. We are bound to fail when we allow others to tell our stories.
“We have arrived, and we are sustaining the indefatigable spirit of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and what was left of the Pilot in 1967,” said Dr. Ogbo.
According to him, the westafricanpilotnews.com is currently powered by the latest news content management machinery, capable of providing custom news services and deliveries to targeted audience. “It has assembled more than 200 writers across all disciplines to facilitate columns and blogs.
Reports are in place to represent various cities, political interests, and ideologies. For example, The Pilot Business (PB), is structured as a West African leading financial outlet, furnishing readers with routine corporate, financial, economic, and political news; Pilot TV is broadcast online, targeting news and events in the Sub Saharan Africa with emphasis to Nigeria; the Africa Pilot reports Africa to the World and the World to Africa.
Executive Editor (Broadcast) and Founder, Prof. Ulasi has been a professional communicator, scholar and community organizer for more than 28 years.
Dr. Ulasi, a producer, and poet was journal editor and book editor of the Journal of Nigerian Affairs from 1993-1996, while Dr. Ogbo, the Executive Editor (News Production) and Founder, joined the news media in 1981 and has remained in that field till date as the Publisher of Houston’s International Guardian.
As a Professor of Journalism, Dr. Ogbo research interests focuses on media ethics, innovation and entrepreneurship.