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NUJ tasks Buhari on federal character, press freedom

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President Muhammadu Buhari (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) yesterday charged President Muhammadu Buhari to apply the principle of federal character in appointments during his second term in office.

National President of NUJ, Comrade Chris Isiguzo, stated this when he led members of his executive to meet with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said there was need for the President to ensure that all parts of the country were carried along in the scheme of things.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, Isiguzo said there was the need for the President to correct perceived flaws during his first term, stressing that his re-election offers him another opportunity to right the wrongs of the last four years.

Isiguzo and his team tasked Buhari to curtail insecurity in the North East and North West where terrorism has continued to threaten security of lives and property.

He also stated that the delegation made demands on the President regarding press freedom to enable journalists to operate freely without fear of harassment or molestation in conformity with democratic tenets.

He said, “Basically, we have come to congratulate you on your re-election as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and of course, to also tell you that to whom much is given, from him much should be expected.”

The NUJ President explained that they told Buhari that clampdown and harassment of journalists does not speak well for Nigeria’s democracy, adding: “We told him that and when responding, he told us that he will improve on what he has done in the last four years and assured us that there will be a positive change.

Speaking, President Buhari described journalists as important pillars of society, adding that their professional roles do not only shape opinions of society, but also fosters decision-making.

The President, who also said he was aware of the hazards journalists face in the discharge of their responsibilities, pledged that security agencies would continue to protect them.

He, however, solicited support of journalists in curbing social media menace, which he said had constituted threats to society and the journalism profession in view of its unregulated nature.

Buhari also said he remained committed to a safe and secure Nigeria in the next four years, promising to promote an inclusive and diversified economy and, therefore, sought the support of journalists in achieving these goals through objective reporting.

“I agree that journalists face significant threats in discharging their duties. But be assured that security agencies will continue to do their best to protect journalists, especially those operating in hostile environments,” he added.


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