On this world press freedom day today, Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission has condemned moves to regulate the social media as the national assembly aims to pass bills restricting them in the country.
The rights commission also condemned attempts by the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, to impose excessive fines on media houses for activities in providing information to citizens.
The theme for today’s world press freedom day celebration is information for public good. Executive secretary of the human rights commission, Tony Ojukwu, extolled the Conduct of the Nigerian press for exhibiting a high level of professionalism in the face of alleged intimidation and harassment.
Meanwhile, president Muhammadu Buhari and senate president Ahmad Lawan have urged the media to responsibly express their freedom.
Lawan says the national assembly will not pass any anti-press legislations.
Buhari in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina, stressed the commitment of his administration to the freedom of the press. He said: “that everything is permitted does not mean that there are no rules of correctness, particularly in a polity seriously challenged as ours now.
He, urged journalists to wield their freedom responsibly and without licentiousness.
According to him, freedom of the press is an irreducible minimum feature of a democracy that would flourish, adding that freedom must, however, be used responsibly.
Presient Buhari said “the media must be sensitive to what we are going through as a country, and anything that would exacerbate the situation, and further inflame passions and emotions should be avoided. The media needs to ensure that while informing, educating, entertaining, and setting agenda for public discourse, it does not encourage incendiary words and actions that could further hurt our unity in diversity.”
The president also pledged greater cooperation with the media to discharge its duties, in line with the theme of this year’s world press freedom day, ‘information as a public good. He charged those who manage government information to do everything in public interest, while also encouraging the media to use the freedom of information act to make its jobs easier.
According to him, it is vital to have access to reliable information in an era of misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech, all to cause discord in society.
On his part, Lawan called on journalists to purge themselves of bad eggs giving the profession a bad image.
He assured them that the national assembly would not pass any anti-press freedom bill.
In a message, yesterday to felicitate with the media on the occasion of the world press freedom day, Lawan, stated that may 3 is set aside every year to remind governments around the world of their obligations to facilitate and respect press freedom, and also to remind journalists of the need to respect the ethics of their profession.
He called on journalists to purge the profession of the bad eggs whose nefarious activities are denting the credibility and reputation of their colleagues.
He added: “the leadership organs of the profession also need to adopt practical measures to check the activities of the purveyors of fake news. My belief is that the menace of fake news is capable of eroding the integrity and credibility of the media in general, and this should not be allowed to happen”.
Lawan expressed happiness that Nigeria has a vibrant media that has always resolutely defended freedom of speech.
He stated that freedom of the press enables journalists to discharge their roles as the watchdog of the society and as the fourth estate of the realm.
He said: “I also celebrate the Nigerian journalists for the invaluable contributions and sacrifices that they have made throughout our national history to nation-building and entrenchment of democracy.
“I pay tribute to the patriots who have lost their lives in the line of duty and pray that their death will not be in vain.”
Power Restored To National Grid After System Collapse
The Transmission Company of Nigeria says power has been restored to national grid after a system collapse left most of the nation in the dark on Wednesday.
The company said on Thursday electricity has been restored across the entire grid through which distribution companies offtake electricity they deliver to consumers nationwide.
TCN’s public affairs general manager Ndidi Mbah, says experts were already making efforts to fully restore electricity on the grid.
Army Denies Boko Haram’s Eid Donations Report
The Nigerian Army has denied reports that Boko Haram insurgents distributed Eid donations to communities in the northern states of Borno and Yobe.
Reports alleged the terrorist group had donated food and money to residents in attempts to woo them to support its activities.
The army says the reports were “propaganda,” and that it had conducted investigations and established the reports were untrue.
The army said in a statement “our team of eagle-eyed analysts went further to critically examine the pictures attached to this malicious publication and discovered that they were simply stage-managed in a typical terrorists-styled propaganda.
Nigeria continues to experience a wave of insecurity occasioned by attacks and kidnappings carried out by Boko Haram militants.
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