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NUJ asks Tinubu to Unveil Agenda On Safety, Protection Of Journalists

The Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), FCT Correspondents Chapel, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to unveil his administration’s plan and agenda on safety measures…

The Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), FCT Correspondents Chapel, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to unveil his administration’s plan and agenda on safety measures and protection for the media practitioners and workers in Nigeria.

This is as the Union said it had observed the toxic and hostile environment in which Nigerian journalists have been operating over the years, describing the situation as absurd, ridiculous and unacceptable.

NUJ stated this on Friday in a statement jointly signed by Comrade Jide Oyekunle, Chairman of FCT Correspondents Chapel, and Raphael Oni, the Secretary, on the occasion to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day in Abuja.

“Today, we join the rest of the world to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day. It is expedient to remind the Nigerian Government of its legal obligation to defend and protect the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people including Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression as guaranteed by section 36 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“The media space is becoming shrinking, hostile and suffocating on a daily basis due to intolerant posture of some government officials to criticisms and dissenting voices.

“We therefore, call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to come out clearly with a comprehensive safety measures and mechanisms put in place for the Nigerian journalists and media workers to enable them perform their essential and constitutional role in democracy. Journalists in Nigeria face significant risks, including harassment, intimidation, and physical attacks while carrying out their statutory duties.

“We demand concrete steps from government to guarantee the protection of journalists while carrying out their roles as watchdogs. We demand that those who had attacked journalists in the past and infringed on Press Freedom are brought to justice forthwith.

“We demand accountability from government and security agents in Nigeria. The security operatives who act with impunity and have no respect for democratic tenets and values should be made to face the full wrath of the law. The incessant attacks on journalists and media workers are unacceptable and highly condemnable. These attacks must stop. Journalists must be protected to carry out their responsibilities without fear of violence or retribution.”

“On our part, we shall not abdicate our statutory responsibility in upholding the Fundamental Objectives of the Direct Principles of the State Policy as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

“We have continued to emphasize that journalism is not a crime, journalism is not an opposition, journalism is the oxygen of democracy and positive change and development of any democratic society.

“If democracy is about good governance, accountability and transparency, then Press Freedom should not be denied, curtailed, restricted or taken away,” the statement said.

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