Press Freedom Day: Buhari Pledges Non-interference, Urges Fairness

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has pledged an “unfettered environment” for the media to do its work.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the president also stressed the need for journalists to be mindful of fairness, justice, and national interest at all times.

Reflecting on this year’s theme, Keeping Power In Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law, Mr Buhari re-affirmed commitment to an atmosphere in which the media “is free from harassment or any form of attack in the exercise of the profession, within the ambit of the Law.”

“The media can count on us to keep our words, but we also want to be fairly reported.

“The media should hold ethics of the noble profession sacrosanct, and be wary of those bent on causing disaffection in the country,” he said.

Stressing that “a positively critical media is vital to national development and the growth of our democracy,” the President said “a media that cavils would only generate unwarranted tension in a plural society like ours.”

“The world is in the throes of animosities generated by fake news and hate speech, often spawned by some media, particularly the digital variant called social media.

“On this World Press Freedom Day, those involved in the negative antics should reflect, and ponder on how some countries have been thrown into tailspin by irresponsible use of the media. We have no other country than Nigeria, and what we make of it is what we get.

“As we approach general elections next year, let our journalists resolve to report the process fairly and without bias, irrespective of who is involved. That would be the very essence of World Press Freedom Day.