Anthony Forson; The Federal Government has restated the commitment of the Buhari
Administration to upholding the freedom of the press.
In a statement issued in Abuja to mark the World Press
Freedom Day 2017, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai
Mohammed, described as inaccurate the recent survey by Reporters
Without Borders, which alleged that Nigeria’s press freedom rating has
been on a sustained decline since 2015.
He said despite the inaccurate and fake news saturating the media
space, the Federal Government has not put a single journalist behind
bars as a result of his or her professional conduct.
Lai Mohammed said even though there are reports that some States
have been hard on some journalists and bloggers for alleged
misconduct, it has not been the policy of this Federal Government to
join issues with the media, because of its unflinching commitment to
upholding the tenets of democracy, which include free press and
freedom of speech.
Adding that the recent incident involving the Punch Correspondent covering
the State House is an aberration, adding that the speed with which the
order barring the correspondent from the State House was reversed has
lent credence to the fact that this government is not out to muzzle
The Minister recalled that the accreditation of the current Chairman
of the State House Press Corps, Ubale Musa, which was withdrawn by the
previous administration, was immediately restored upon the assumption
of office by the Buhari Administration, in order to give the media
unhindered access to the Seat of Power.
He therefore pledged the readiness to this administration to always
create a conducive environment for the media to thrive and to continue
to discharge its constitutional mandate without hindrance.