President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the media to be mindful of sponsored political news or publications capable of inciting hatred, division, violence and chaos in the country with the elections in sight.
He made the call Monday in his message on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, observed every year on May 3.
He charged the Nigerian Press to use World Press Freedom Day to reflect on the need to embrace the best professional standards and practices, especially in the build-up to the forthcoming general elections.
Buhari said the free performance of media roles and responsibilities during the electoral process was as important as the sanctity and will of Nigerians, expressed through the ballot box.
He further urged the media to ensure that the electoral umpire and other stakeholders played their roles in delivering free, fair, credible and transparent elections to Nigerians.We must stay united in supporting media professionals who work hard to de-escalate violent conflict and promote peaceful societies without compromising the responsibility to report,’’ he said.
He urged government information managers to ensure that the press and the general public have access to facts and figures of government information without tears.
Buhari saluted the courage and determination of those who daily go the extra time, sometimes at great personal risks, to keep the society well informed.
He restated the Federal Government’s commitment to freedom of the press.
He said government agencies would always stand against actions that were capable of limiting the preservation of the freedom of the press guaranteed by the constitution in line with the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, ‘’Journalism under digital siege”.
He said the Federal Government was working hard to support media organizations in Nigeria through provision of better internet access to underserved communities, and achieve 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030.