As Nigeria joins other countries around the world to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day, the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, has urged all stakeholders in the media to synergize to form a formidable partnership in order to save the ship of the state from running aground.
In a press release signed by Femi Adesina, President, NGE, the editors urged the government to use the opportunity to see the media more as an ally in national development than an adversary.
“As Nigeria goes through very grave trials threatening the very foundation of its existence, it is imperative that all stakeholders forge a synergy to save the ship of state from running aground. If there is any time government should see the media as ally in national development, rather than adversary, it is now,” Adesina said.
While stressing the role of free press in national development, the association urged the government to further improve the atmosphere in which the press operates.
“Without 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. But a free press will accelerate national development, and engender the country of our dreams, which yet remains in the realm of envisioning. No doubt, the atmosphere in which the press operates today is far better than what it used to be, but it is not yet Uhuru,” Adesina said.
Adesina, who urged the government to address the issue of infringement of the fundamental rights of journalists, reiterated the association’s commitment to uphold the finest traditions of their calling and play its role in national development.
“We still have very serious assaults against journalists and media workers, bordering on infringement of their fundamental human rights, and attempt to stifle and muzzle them. Journalists are still harassed, intimidated, brutalized, and even killed outright. If any leader at whatever level, however, chooses to remain antagonistic to the media, such needs to be reminded that the media ultimately survives to publish the fall from grace of its adversaries. Nigerian editors pledge to uphold the finest traditions of their calling, and play our roles in national development,” he added.