Even if there are excesses, press freedom should not be restrained- Fayemi - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE


Friday, 6 August 2021

Even if there are excesses, press freedom should not be restrained- Fayemi


Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti state, says freedom of the press should never be restrained no matter the circumstances.

The governor said journalists have played “prominent roles” in nation-building “even at the risk of their lives” over the years.

According to NAN, Fayemi spoke on Thursday at a dinner organised by Felix Ajakaye, the Catholic bishop of Ekiti diocese.

The governor said no matter the excesses being exhibited by the press, its freedom must remain intact.

Fayemi, who is also the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), said the role of journalists in the struggle for independence and democracy could not be overemphasised.

“In the fight for our independence and the sustained agitations against military for the journey to Nigeria’s democracy, journalists played prominent roles, even at the risk of their lives and jobs,” the governor said.

“The press stands for the people. It is the voice of the voiceless, though you may have some things that appear so terrifying now that we have the social media because of lack of control.

“But you still have to go to the mainstream journalism to confirm because they have control and gatekeepers, who can be held accountable.

“Even if there are excesses, the freedom of the press should not be restrained. We should look for other ways to correct these perceived inadequacies.”

A barrage of criticism had trailed the move by the lower legislative chamber to amend the laws establishing the Nigeria Press Council (NPC) and Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

In June, the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), an umbrella body of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), kicked against the amendment and argued that some of its provisions threaten press freedom.

Olusegun Odebunmi, a federal lawmaker from Oyo state, who sponsored the bills, later announced that the legislative process on the bills had been suspended.