From Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The Katsina State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has commended Governor Aminu Bello Masari over what the union describes as the government’s “friendly disposition towards journalists” in the state and for “the moral, legal and institutional support it provides journalists to practise the profession in a free and conducive atmosphere.”
The NUJ in a press statement by its Chairman, Comrade Tukur Hassan Dan-Ali, on Monday, to mark the 2021 World Press Freedom Day also said that, “it is pertinent to note that journalists in Katsina State enjoy a good working relationship with all security agencies and other organs of government in the state which enables them to practise the profession in an atmosphere of freedom as guaranteed by Sections 22 and 39 of the 1999 Constitution.
The statement said, “in the last one year, there has not been any reported incidence of harassment of any journalists by security agencies anywhere in the state.
“This further demonstrates the harmonious working relationship between members of the pen profession and law enforcement agents.
“Another working incentive to press freedom in Katsina State is the full operationalisation of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act which enables working journalists to seek information from both public and private institutions in the course of their reportage of events.
“We also congratulate journalists for the level of press freedom enjoyed in the state while urging them to continue to be law- abiding and to practise journalism in a way that promotes peace and development at all levels.
“However, the council frowns at the ugly practice by some private media proprietors who do not pay salaries to their employees, a trend that does not augur well for professional practice of journalism.
“We therefore seize this opportunity to call on both public and private media houses in the country on the need to improve the welfare package of journalists considering the risks and hazards involved particularly in the coverage of crises and pandemics.
“We also congratulate our colleagues and compatriots from other parts of the country on this occasion while urging governments, the civil society and the international community to continue to promote press freedom as a vital tool for the promotion of peace and democratic governance.”