The speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has called on the Nigerian press to put patriotism first in the discharge of their responsibilities in order to constantly place the country in a positive light amongst the comity of nations.
In a press statement signed by his special adviser on media and public affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, to mark the World Press Day in Abuja, Dogara also admonished the media to adhere strictly to the ethics of journalism so as to be competitive globally.
Dogara, who praised the Nigerian press for the role it played in the struggle for and enthronement of democracy, however, called on media practitioners to shun ‘desk journalism’ and engage in qualitative investigative journalism that will promote national unity as well as expose rot and corruption in the system in line with the present administration’s change agenda.
“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”, he stated.
The statement quoted the speaker as asserting that the 8th Assembly is poised to promoting freedom of the press as one of the cardinal pillars of free society.
“This year’s anniversary is coming five years after we passed into law the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) which placed Nigeria as one of the leading nations that have adopted the law” the speaker said.
He, however, 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.
The speaker 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.