2023: Buhari urges journalists not to sponsor incitement publications

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President Muhammadu Buhari

By DAVID IORJA, Abuja –

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja instructed media professionals to be careful of publications that are sponsored and incite hatred, division, violence and chaos.

The President made this call in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Femi Adesina.

Buhari said the warning became necessary as the 2023 general election approached.

He took the floor to announce World Press Freedom Day 2023. The Day is celebrated annually on May 3.

The President also challenged the media to ensure that INEC and other stakeholders play their part in bringing about free, fair, credible and transparent elections in 2023.

“We must stand united in supporting media professionals who work hard to defuse violent conflict and promote a peaceful society without compromising responsibility to report,” Adesina said, quoting Buhari.

He urged government information officials to ensure that the media and the general public have access to facts and figures regarding government information, without tears.

Buhari assured that, in line with the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, government agencies would oppose actions that would limit media freedom as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.

The theme for World Press Freedom Day 2023 is: “Journalism Under the Siege of Digital”.

According to the president, the federal government is working hard to support the media by providing better internet access to underserved communities and achieve 95% digital literacy by 2030.

He hailed “the courage and determination of those who go the extra mile every day, sometimes at great personal risk, to keep society well informed.”

Buhari reiterated his administration’s commitment to press freedom, pledging to continue to ensure the protection of the rights and privileges of journalists in the lawful exercise of their duties.

He instructed the Nigerian media to use World Press Freedom Day to reflect on the need to adopt the best professional standards and practices, especially in the run-up to the 2923 general election.

According to him, the free execution of the roles and responsibilities of the media in the electoral process is as important as the sanctity and will of Nigerians, expressed through the ballot box.

He rejoiced with the Nigerian media and acknowledged their role in strengthening democracy.

“On behalf of Nigerians, President Buhari thanks those in the Fourth Estate of the Kingdom whose diligent work is helping to secure peace, stability and progress in the country,” Adesina said.

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