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Fayemi, Ajakaiye caution against gagging media

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Governor Kayode Fayemi and the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, Most Reverend Felix Ajakaiye have said that the freedom of the press shouldn’t be repressed in the country despite the perceived inadequacies on the part of some practitioners.

Fayemi insisted that no matter the excesses being exhibited by the press, under no guise should its freedom be abridged or tinkered with.

The Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), spoke in Ado Ekiti on Thursday evening during a dinner organised by Ajakaiye for members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ekiti Council.

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The governor contended that journalists had etched their names indelibly in the history of the country, having at various times fought for Nigeria’s independence and cleared the way for the country to navigate to constitutional democracy from the military junta.

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

“The press stands for the people. It is the voice of the voiceless. Though you may have some things that appeared 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,” Fayemi said. .

To him, governing Ekiti State has been so challenging since 2018 due to paucity of funds. He promised to continue to look for humble ways to seek understanding of Ekiti people about his policies and delivery while also maintaining prudence in the management of the state’s scarce resources.

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Based on the request of the NUJ Chairman in Ekiti, Rotimi Ojomoyela, demanding a befitting Press Centre from the government, Fayemi promised to set machinery in motion to ensure that the project comes to fruition.

Bishop Ajakaye, who extolled the role of the press in fighting for the current democracy and in promoting good governance.

The cleric advised Fayemi against leaving governance of Ekiti for those he described as dirty people after bowing out in 2022, charging him to look inwards and bring a successor that would sustain and consolidate the gains of democracy for Ekiti people after his exit.

The cleric, who is also a journalist, said: “Don’t leave politics for those who do things the old ways. Politics is not a dirty game, but we have dirty people in it. I will call Governor Fayemi and the wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi to come and face us after leaving office and plead with them not to leave politics for those who love to do things the old ways.”

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