Stakeholders suggest press freedom as antidote to Nigerian's Faulty Democracy

Stakeholders in the field of journalism have described freedom of the press as the antidote to Nigeria's faulty democracy.

The stakeholders who spoke at the 2022 International Day to End Impunity for Crime Against Journalists, organised by the publisher of Razor Times Newspapers, Simeon Fakeye argued that without press freedom, true democracy remains in the imaginary realm.

They stated that as long as the government continues to suppress the press, democracy will remain silent and unachievable. 

The stakeholders at the event who include legal practitioners, security agents, human right activists amongst others lamented that Nigeria journalists are behind the true democracy.

The theme of the event is "2023: Safety of the Press - Before, During and After" in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital at the weekend. 

One of the panelists at the programme, Barrister Kayode Aderemi charged journalists to be more professional in the discharge of their journalists assignment.

The legal practitioner also blamed journalists 'for not persecuting anyone who attacked them during their constitutional job'. 

The Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) Ogun state command, Niyi Ajibola at the event said that the relationship between security personnel and journalists in the state is cordial, adding that there is no enmity between the media and security operatives. 

Ajibola who was represented by the command's Head of Operation, Ajala Kolawole assured the safety of journalists at the forthcoming 2023 general elections. 

"We security personnels are not enemies to the journalists because our relationship with journalists is cordial. Any security attached to a politician will always try to defend his principal.

"As the election is approaching, many journalists will buy new equipment. Make those equipment look as if they are not new and not beautiful. If there is an attack people will want to get these things from you. You must know about your terrain. It is very dangerous to not know about where you are going to work. And we are ready to give you adequate security during the elections. 

On his part, the organizer of the programme noted that the commemoration of the International Day to End Impunity for Crime Against Journalists started in 2013 when Two journalists were killed in Mali. 

He added that journalists are behind true democracy and if journalists are silent, democracy is no more. 

He emphasized that journalists are being molested by the political gladiators while carrying out their duty, and called for the punishment for anyone who attacks the journalists. 

'In a situation where there is no press there can't be true democracy because opinion, information and report shall be downgraded and People won't be able to have access to information. There should be free movement for journalists to carry out their Assignment.

"Last Ten months in Ogun state, there have been about three or four reported cases of assault against journalists and the government has done nothing to it; that means the impunity is still continuing. We have to stop it because we are the fourth estate of the information.

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