From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
SPEAKER of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday commended the Nigerian press for the role it played in the struggle for and enthronement of democracy.
In a press statement issued in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, to mark the World Press Day, Dogara, admonished the media to be alive to its responsibility of ensuring that government adheres to the tenets of democracy.
The Speaker also called on journalists to shun ‘desk journalism’ and engage in investigative journalism that would promote national unity as well as expose rot and corruption in the system, in line with the present administration’s Change Agenda.
The statement read in part: “ It is important that you continue to fight for a society where free, empowered
citizens can contribute in a democracy. That is what democracy is all about, freedom to pursue happiness. When that is done, we should be able to deliver on the promise of change, which will lift Nigeria to a new pedestal”.
The statement quoted the speaker as asserting that the 8th Assembly is committed to promoting freedom of press as it is one of the pillars of free society.
While noting that this year’s anniversary is coming five years after the National Assembly passed into law, the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), the speaker urged practitioners to exercise such freedom with responsibility, so as not to endanger the public good, affirming that without a free press, democracy will not thrive.
He also wished the Nigerian press a joyous Press Day celebration and prayed for the repose of the souls of all journalists who paid the supreme price in the line of duty.