James Emejo in Abuja
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, thursday expressed concern over the rising spate of violence and killings across the country, describing it as threat to press freedom and democracy.
He showed his solidarity with the Nigerian press, describing a free press as a necessary ingredient of true democracy.
In a statement issued by his special adviser on media and public affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan to commemorate the 2018 world Press Freedom Day, the Speaker underscored the importance of the media in promoting democracy and the rule of law, stating that unhindered press must be encouraged to guarantee right to information.
He said: â€œAs a watchdog of the society and forth estate of the realm, the media plays a pivotal role in protecting and promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
â€œJournalists must also tell the right stories, especially those that promote unity, peace and harmony as well as stand up for the right to truth, especially now that we inch towards the 2019 general elections.â€
While commending the theme for this yearâ€™s celebration, â€˜Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law,â€™ Dogara urged media professionals to be objective, fair and balanced in their reportage and editorial policies and decisions, assuring that the House in particular and the National Assembly in general would continue to partner and support the media in guaranteeing free press including the safety of journalists through the instrumentality of the legislature, as practiced in other climes.