Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja assured his administration will in the next four years pursue inclusive and transparent policies that will guarantee security and economic safety of every citizen.
The president, who received a delegation of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by Mr. Chris Isiguzo at the State House, said: “As I look to the next four years, I will remain committed to a safe and secure nation; creating an inclusive and diversified economy; and a governance system that is free of corrupt practices.
“In all these areas, we will remain transparent in implementing our policies.’’
President Buhari, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, urged members of the NUJ to support the government in devising a means to control the spread of false information.
He warned that those who “create alternative reality’’ on social media are steadily eroding the credibility of journalism.
“Your profession today is undergoing a fundamental shift. For better or worse, the digital space is now becoming the major outlet for ‘news’.
“This space is difficult to regulate and police. In many instances, the participants in this medium are not trained or professional journalists.
“The stories they present are neither factual nor true. However, through the digital platform, they are able to reach millions and create an alternate reality in their minds.
“I am sure you will all agree that the biggest threat to the sustainability and credibility of your profession is the uncontrolled and unregulated news platforms operating in the cyber space,’’ he said.
The president noted that some misleading information in the social media were created and posted by people who lived outside the country.
“Many of the perpetrators of these acts do not even live within our shores. However, they have been able to damage the reputation of hardworking Nigerian journalists while at the same time promoting conflict and divisions within our society,’’ he added.
He commended journalists for effective coverage of the 2019 elections, pointing that many, out of patriotism, went beyond their call of duty and took risks to ensure full and balanced reporting of the election, assuring the NUJ that security agencies will do their best to protect journalists, especially in hostile environments.
Isiguzo congratulated the president for his re-election, attributing it to his integrity and commitment to the development of the nation.