The present government is not antagonizing journalists, the National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Abdulwaheed Udusile has said.
He stated this in Sokoto while commemorating this year’s World Press Day.
"This government is not antagonizing journalists. I know there was a very unfortunate incident at the Villa when the reporter of the Punch Newspaper was sent out by the Chief Security Officer over his report on the health of Mr President but the spokesman of the President described the, action as overzealousness and recalled him," he stated.
The NUJ President who was represented by the Zonal Secretary in charge of North-West, Shehu Ahmed, tasked journalists to always be guided by the ethics of the profession, just as he challenged media houses on the welfare of their workers.
Presenting a paper on ‘Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful,just and inclusive societies’, the Attorney General of the State, Barrister Sulaiman Usman said a free and independent media could play a vital role in promoting social inclusion in this country and contribute in making Nigeria a free, democratic, just and egalitarian society as well as land of equity with full opportunities for its citizens.
Usman who charged the media to appreciate the need to be fair and accurate in their reports, said the freedom of information does not denote immunity from abiding by the law and demands of security of the state as well as the protection of the rights of other person.
Usman noted the current state of safety of Journalists and freedom of expression worldwide as discouraging, saying over the last 10-year, 827 journalists and media workers had been killed and that only about eight of these cases were resolved.
"Happily in Nigeria under the present dispensation, journalists and other media professionals are not only free but independent. This is because the present democratic leaders at state and federal levels believe that it is only when media are free, independent and pluralistic they can ensure that rule of law is applied and respected," he added.