Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Senate President Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday in Abuja congratulated media practitioners in Nigeria and the world over for what he described as their invaluable service to humanity as they celebrate the 2016 World Press Freedom Day.
Saraki according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also commended all Nigerians on the occasion of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, saying press freedom also connotes freedom of individuals to partake in the governance of the country by participating in discussing issues and also freely giving expression to their dreams and aspirations within the ambience of the law.
According to him, celebration of World Press Freedom Day signifies the prime place the media occupy in the society “because it is not all professions that have a day set aside internationally to celebrate their contributions to society.”
He further said “our Constitution granted some responsibilities and specific freedom to the press in Sections 22 and 39” to further underscore the importance of the press in nation building.
“This special Constitutional and institutional recognitions bestow on the press a sacred duty and responsibility to be fair to all, to adhere to truth and to consciously work for the unity, progress and development of their immediate and larger communities,” he added.
He called on journalists and other media practitioners to always abide by the ethical principles of their profession in the discharge of their duties.
Saraki noted the contributions of the media to national development at critical moments of the nation’s evolution such as the fight for independence, fight against military rule and struggle to enthrone democratic governance in the country.
He urged the press not to relent in holding government accountable to the people and to continuously remain a defender of the voiceless and downtrodden in the society.