As nations including Nigeria mark World Press Freedom Day which is today May 3, it affords our people an opportunity to reflect once again on the state of the media in Nigeria.
This is the assertion of Mr. Femi Adesina, President Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE). He said the country is passing through “very grave trials, threatening the very foundation of its existence.”
He urged all stakeholders to forge a synergy to save the ship of state from running aground.
According to him in a statement, if there is any time government should see the media as ally in nation building, rather than adversary, it is now.
“Without a free press, good governance cannot be guaranteed, the fight against corruption would at best be tepid, our political development would be stunted and sluggish, while the fundamental rights of the citizenry would be trampled upon with impunity.
“Journalists are still harassed, intimidated, brutalized, and even killed outright. The country is replete with cases of journalists killed in the line of duty in recent years, and not a single one of such cases has been unravelled by our security agencies. When the media is under assault, it is to the detriment of us all. As observed by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, “freedom of expression, independent media and universal access to knowledge will fortify our efforts to achieve lasting results for people and the planet.”
“With 70 journalists killed worldwide last year, 211 held in various prisons, and well over 1,000 killed since 1992, let us use this occasion of World Press Freedom Day to rededicate ourselves as a country to a free press, which can work without intimidation, harassment and interference. Our country will be the better for it. It is in our collective interest. That is the way Nigeria can realise her potentials, attain the vision of our founding fathers, and bequeath a worthy legacy to generations unborn”.