General Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, July 24, 2015 stated that his administration will uphold press freedom.
He made this assurance at the 5th Triennial National Delegates Conference in Abuja, where he was represented by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
The conference tagged, “Fostering Safety of Journalists and Building Synergy with Agents of the State,” was held to elect new leaders that will pilot the affairs of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ) for the next three years.
Buhari lauded the outgoing president, Malam Muhammed Garba, and executive members of the union and further urged journalists to conduct free, fair and credible elections.
He said, “Transparency and accountability will be our watch word all through.
“The country looks forward to a body of journalists that would be partners of the government in nation building.”.
He said, “The country and the whole world are looking forward to witnessing credible elections.”
The President of the Senate, Sen. Bukola Saraki, who was represented by Sen. Shehu Sanni, also urged the union to conduct credible elections to enable it to ensure growth in the union and country at large.
Saraki commended journalists for making sure that the nation’s democracy worked and called for insurance cover for journalists by employers as well as enhanced salaries to improve their standard of living.
Garba in his remarks, commended his administration’s efforts in resolving the crisis in the 36 state councils of the union except in Enugu State.
He noted that the media have contributed immensely to the nation’s democratic process and deserve commendation and implored members of the National Assembly to urgently resolve their differences in the interest of the nation.
While commending journalists, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, observed that the press has been dogged in the struggle for independence and freeing the country from military dictatorship.
Dogara encouraged journalists not to relent as watchdogs of the society and ensure balance in their reports.
He also urged them to work with the government in order to achieve a better country.
The speaker condemned the spate at which journalists are killed in the nation and also frowned at the non-payments of salaries to journalists.
He said, “Nigerians are looking forward to you to get it right and come out stronger and more united than ever before.
“After the accurate coverage of the just concluded general elections, it is now your turn to prove to Nigerians and the whole world that you can get it right.”