The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) says the inalienable right to access and disseminate information through an independent press is under attack in Nigeria.
NGE President Mustapha Isah and General Secretary Iyobosa Uwugiaren said this in a statement on Monday to mark the World Press Freedom Day.
They, therefore, called for an urgent need to protect the media, saying democracy is in danger when a free press is threatened.
“We need to remind governments at all levels in Nigeria that a free and independent media that can keep the people informed and hold leaders accountable, is essential for a strong and sustainable democracy, including free and fair elections. Without it, Nigerians cannot make informed decisions about how they are governed; and address human rights abuses, corruption and abuse of power’’, the Guild said.
The NGE added, “There is an urgent need to protect the media; because the impact of the suffocating economic and political environment being created by the government will be very dangerous to our democracy. A threat to the media is a threat to our democracy.
‘’Governments at all levels must take the lead in making sure that their actions do not inspire violations of press freedom. A democratic society like Nigeria should know that it has a crucial role to play in maintaining media freedom and facilitating access to public information.
The NGE also called on the federal government to make newsprints, broadcast equipment and all other consumables in the media sector tax free, in order to save the media from total collapse.