The president pledges to ensure freedom of the press at all times

The president pledges to ensure freedom of the press at all timesPresident Goodluck Jonathan has assured media practitioners in the country that his administration would never temper with the freedom of the press as well-preserved in the country’s constitution.

Insisting that the media be responsible and objective at all times, the president also denied sending a list of ministerial nominees to the State Security Service for screening; as earlier reported.
He said such a report, besides being unfair, traumatised not only the ministers but their families.

Jonathan gave the assurance while declaring open the Fourth Triennial National Delegates’ Conference of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abuja.

“I am a firm believer in the right and obligation of the media as enshrined in our constitution,” he said. “I assure you all today that under my leadership, journalists in our country will continue to fully enjoy their constitutional rights and freedom of expression.

I am also fully convinced that the imperative of sustaining and nurturing our democracy required the existence of the very professional and practitioners of the mass media. My administration is very conscious of the vital role that the mass media has to play in engendering support for our transformation agenda and is therefore committed to properly enhance the practice.

It was in this regard that led to our enactment of the FOI Law to further enhance the ability of our dear practitioners to discharge their duties. My administration will have nothing to do with those who try to curtail or abuse the right of the mass media.”

The president, however, advised media practitioners to avoid being manipulated by politicians, and urged journalists to make extra efforts to cross check their facts before publishing stories.

Condemning the recent attacks on media houses by suspected terrorists, Jonathan commended Nigerian journalists for remaining resolute despite the attacks and urged them to continue to foster peace, religious tolerance and harmony in the country.

Earlier, the NUJ President, Shehu Garba, urged the federal government and security agencies to intensify efforts aimed at addressing the current security challenges in the country in order to provide more conducive atmosphere for journalists to carry out their duties.

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