President Muhammadu Buhari has acknowledged the role of the Nigerian media in strengthening democracy.
His commendation came on the heels of the World Press Freedom Day, observed every year on May 3 globally.
He also salutes the courage and determination of media practitioners who daily go the extra time, sometimes at great personal risks, to keep society well informed.
Buhari also pledged that the Federal Government was working hard to support media organizations in Nigeria through the provision of better internet access to underserved communities, including achieving 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030.
According to him, in fostering the pursuit of journalism in the country, the Nigerian government’s commitment to freedom of the press has not waned.
Buhari also pledged to continue ensuring the protection of the rights and privileges of journalists in the lawful performance of their professional duties.
He charged the Nigerian Press to use World Press Freedom Day to reflect on the need to embrace the best professional standards and practices, especially in the build-up to the forthcoming general elections.
He noted that the free performance of media roles and responsibilities during the electoral process is as important as the sanctity and will of Nigerians, expressed through the ballot box.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Buhari urged the media to be mindful of sponsored political news or publications capable of inciting hatred, division, violence, and chaos in the country, while also ensuring that the electoral umpire and other stakeholders play their roles in delivering free, fair, credible and transparent elections to Nigerians.
We must stay united in supporting media professionals who work hard to de-escalate violent conflict and promote peaceful societies without compromising the responsibility to report,’’ he said, urging government information managers to ensure that the press and the general public have access to facts and figures of government information, without tears.
In line with the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, ”Journalism under digital siege,” President Buhari assures that government agencies under his watch will always stand against actions that are capable of limiting the preservation of the freedom of the press guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
On behalf of Nigerians, President Buhari thanks members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm whose diligent work helped in guaranteeing peace, stability, and progress in the country.