During the 21st annual Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja, themed “Tinubu’s Economic Reforms: Gainers and Losers”, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, emphasised that the Federal Government guarantees unrestricted media freedom to practitioners. However, the government also expects practitioners to maintain truthfulness and responsibility in their work. This declaration was made at an event organised by the Media Trust Group. Since the commencement of the Daily Trust annual dialogues, he claimed to have been involved in nearly half of them.
Since its inception, the Media Trust has established itself as a highly accountable media entity within the nation. They have avidly monitored their journey right from the beginning, recognising the immense contribution the Media Trust has made to the country. While occasionally taking considerable editorial liberties, they have undoubtedly accomplished noteworthy feats due to their counterparts in the newspaper industry. Moreover, he applauded President Bola Tinubu for his remarkable efforts. The Nigerian Press is evidently unrestrained, as evidenced by the occurrence of this dialogue in this setting.
Press freedom is one of the essentials that makes democracy thrive.
Democracy cannot thrive without the presence of freedom of the press. This notion is known to Tinubu, and hence, under his leadership, no one has been silenced or interrogated for their media presence. As Tinubu often emphasises, while freedom of the press and freedom of expression are essential, they should not grant individuals the licence to act irresponsibly. It is impossible to have freedom without accountability. The importance of their reports, irrespective of the content or timing, holds utmost significance, necessitating an unwavering commitment to truth, honesty, and openness.
In his role as a Minister of Information, he pledges to communicate in a candid and open manner to the people of Nigeria. The Nigerian government has no intention of suppressing press freedom or instilling fear within the press. He emphasises that while the Nigerian Press enjoys a substantial amount of freedom, they must exercise responsible and truthful reporting. Similarly, the claims circulating about Nigeria’s alleged failure to denounce the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza are entirely baseless and devoid of truth.
Other discussions were held around the country’s engagements.
During a recent IOC conference on Gaza, the minister and other government officials joined in solidarity to express Nigeria’s outright condemnation of the ongoing atrocities. The minister further emphasised that President Tinubu had reiterated the urgent need to cease the bloodshed in Gaza and foster a two-state solution during the visit of the U.S. envoy to Nigeria several days ago. Nevertheless, he further explained the intricate procedures that led to the harmonious resolution between the federal government and labour unions regarding the ₦35,000 palliative given in response to the removal of the fuel subsidy.
Malam Kabiru Yusuf, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Media Trust Group, emphasised the importance of engaging in constructive dialogue to address Nigeria’s issues and obstacles. The Media Trust is renowned for organising this event every year, attracting numerous esteemed individuals who actively participate. Nigeria, as a nation, perseveres as it awaits the emergence of hopeful prospects, even in the face of despair. He expressed his warm greetings to them as they embarked upon the journey of the Renewed Hope Agenda.
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The significance of press freedom lies in its ability to unveil the truth. Journalists possess the expertise to scrutinise and elucidate numerous intricate matters. Without newspapers, radio broadcasts, blogs, and similar mediums, the ordinary individual would remain oblivious to the events occurring in their surroundings. The majority of people lack the means and leisure to delve into matters and narratives that directly impact them and their communities. Journalists are essential in uncovering the truth. Possessing valuable abilities like extensive research and critical analysis, top-notch journalists excel in determining which inquiries to pose, and how to verify information.