2019 Election: Stop all forms of oppression and molestation against journalists, NGE tells FG

The Federal Government and politicians across the country have been urged to stop all forms of oppression and molestation meted out on Nigerian journalists especially as the forth-coming 2019 general election draws near.

The Nigerian Guild of Editors made the call today in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day which has the theme: “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice.“

In a statement jointly signed by the President NGE, Funke Egbemode and the General Secretary, Victoria Ibanga, the association urged the government to begin to treat the Media as an ally in development and nation building.

According to the body, governments and the political class must recognize the role of the Media in sustainable development, especially during the forth-coming elections – as a watchdog fostering transparency, accountability and the rule of law.

It stressed that it is the duty of governments and relevant institutions to protect journalists from physical harm and intimidation.

According to NGE “We call on the government and security agencies to reopen and urgently resolve all pending cases of attacks and killings of Journalists and Media workers in the country and bring perpetrators to book, to serve as deterrent to others.”

“While we condole with the families of our colleagues who paid the supreme price in the course of serving humanity, we celebrate all our colleagues who have continually defied the odds to shine the light into the darkest places, hold government accountable to the people and tell compelling stories about our communities and nation. We salute your courage.”

NGE, however, frowns at the harsh economic conditions in the country, affirming that it was not healthy for the practice of journalism as a profession.

“Regrettably and in all fairness, all is not well with the Media industry in Nigeria. The cost of production materials is having a devastating effect on daily operations and the survival of the Media in general. This development, no doubt, has affected payment of monthly emoluments of media workers, thus creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and in effect, reducing the general morale of journalists in the country.”

” While the media industry has supported all other sectors of the economy, it is left to bear the brunt of everything that has gone wrong with the economy. We are losing revenue and forced to reduce manpower. It is important to call the attention of all on a day like this that a nation whose economy does not and cannot support the economy of its Media industry cannot thumb its chest that its press is free. A broke Media industry has no press freedom and is, therefore, far from being free, for as long as the economic shackles are firmly in place.” NGE said.

It noted that on its part as the Fourth Estate of the Realm, as journalist, we must collectively play our role in the interest of the generality of Nigerians whose trust we hold by maintaining and observing the highest professional and ethical standards in total compliance with the Code of Ethics of the Journalism profession. We must not allow agents of retrogression to use our platforms to preach hate and extremism under the guise of free speech.



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