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Gbajabiamila rallies Nigerians to protect democratic rule

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Femi Gbajabiamila. Photo; TWITTER/HOUSENGR


Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, has enjoined Nigerians, irrespective of political and professional leanings, to protect democratic rule in the country.

He also said all Nigerians must see nation-building as a joint task and that each Nigerian has a critical role to play to achieve the best vision for the country.

Gbajabiamila, who spoke in Abuja at the 2021 Press Freedom Awards organised by Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ),
spoke on “Press Freedom, Democracy and Good Governance.”

“Our democracy has survived 22 years, but we cannot take it for granted. We are at this moment buffeted by ill wind on all sides.

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“Our highest task, our most pressing ambition for which there are no other alternatives, is protection of this democracy. If we fail in this regard, nothing else will matter, nothing else we do will count in our favour when the tally of history is settled.

“We have it in our power to improve our nation’s future and leave this world better than we found it. So, let us do that together,” he said. Gbajabiamila, represented by Deputy House Leader, Peter Akpatason, supported promotion of free press and free expression, noting that they are “fundamental safeguards of our democracy.”

Gbajabiamila also said he backed journalists to practise their profession by holding those in government to account. He advised that, in doing so, journalists must be truly professional by reporting the truth always, against the growing trend in certain media outfits of reporting falsehoods.

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“You can only live up to this responsibility when you commit to the vigorous pursuit of elusive truths, and dedicate yourselves to the service of paramount principles.

“Unfortunately, a number of those who practice journalism in our country have failed and are failing to live up to the responsibility imposed by the power you hold.”

“Far from giving voice to the aspirations of our nation, or holding the powerful properly to account, much of journalism in Nigeria has become an endless pursuit of clickbait through careless writing of falsehoods and malicious publication of half-truths.”

The speaker urged journalists and all Nigerians alike to rededicate themselves to the ideals of democracy, calling for better safeguards for the practice of journalism in the country.

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