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June 12: IPC Seeks Support, Greater Recognition Of Media Role In Democracy

Executive Director, International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, Mr. Lanre Arogundade has advised the government, relevant institutions and stakeholders to take urgent measures to guarantee media independence, and enhance welfare as well as safety of journalists.

Arogundade said this on Monday in a press statement issued by the IPC’s Press Freedom Officer, Melody Akinjiyan, in commemoration of the 24th anniversary of Nigeria’s democracy and 30 years of June 12, 1993 presidential poll.

Arogundade stated that it is important for the new administration, being led by President Bola Tinubu, to recognise the vanguard role the media played in the June 12, 1993 struggles that paved way for civil rule in 1999 and appreciate the fact that the media still have crucial roles to play in the democratic journey.

He said ” democracy cannot come to play without the support of the media. To this extent, the media should further be encouraged to perform its role, particularly as stipulated in Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution, ‘to monitor governance and hold government accountable. For this to happen, it is important to create an enabling environment for the media.”

Arogundade stated that the enabling environment that would help the media to thrive and be in a position to contribute to democracy and development include a press freedom and friendly regulatory environment, adding that the media regulatory bodies should be independent and empowered to help the development of the media, and not otherwise. He advocated the review and amendment of all laws that serve as drawbacks on press freedom.

He said the safety of journalists and protection from all forms of attacks must be guaranteed, as he also called for improved welfare of journalists so that they can carry out their work without fear of hunger and poverty.

He also made a case for a stop to molestation of journalists by security agents and all forms of surveillance on journalists.

Arogundade, however, enjoined the media and journalists to exercise due diligence and pay deserved attention to ethics and professionalism in the discharge of their functions, with view to ensuring the integrity of information and prevent unnecessary conflicts.

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