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2023: Sanwo-Olu warns politicians against silencing media

2023: Sanwo-Olu warns politicians against silencing media

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2023: Sanwo-Olu warns politicians against silencing media

As the 2023 general elections draw closer, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has asked politicians and public office holders not to gag the media, saying press freedom was important in a democracy.

The governor said this at a workshop organized by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) with the theme: “Journalist and Digitalization: the imperative of Good Corporate Governance,” held at Ikeja, Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the workshop, said ensuring good corporate governance and self-regulation of the digital space would completely eradicate false and fake news.

He assured that his administration would continue to promote press freedom and corporate governance as well as an enabling environment for journalists in the state, urging media practitioners to always regulate their activities in the digital space.

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“I stand with you (media practitioners) in solidarity; to say that, indeed, your profession is not just a noble one, but it’s the one that gives the general public an independent assessment; holding our governance and government accountable at all times. And so, we need to be very careful as politicians and public officers that we do not gag this profession (media) and do not unduly stifle free press.

“Our government understands and appreciates that press freedom is the way in which we can hold government accountable. But it is also the responsibility of all of us here to ensure that we understand the thin line; and also self-regulate our activities.

“I cannot agree less with the President of the NGE that says that the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission should not only be independent, it should be equipped with men of impeccable character and integrity that can work like the Oxfam of this world and indeed sanction erring people but give freedom for all of you to do your work,” the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu stressed the need for media practitioners to self-regulate, even as he urged them to work towards the complete eradication of fake and false news, seeking continuous support from the media for his administration.

Speaking earlier, the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mustapha Issa, said the media would not succumb to pressure from the government to determine the people’s right to information.

He said the situation where the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) that reports to the Minister of Information would also be the one to unilaterally imposing fines on broadcast stations for unfavorable reports was tantamount to gagging the media.

The NGE President, who urged media owners to embrace good corporate governance and accountability, said the role of scrutiny of the media should not be that of the government alone, adding that the media should not be threatened.

Also speaking, a veteran journalist and the Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Lanre Idowu, said digitalization had brought more opportunities to journalism but has equally brought to the fore the need to uphold ethics, and quality content.

He said journalists must decide whether to embrace digital platforms or be out of business.

2023: Sanwo-Olu warns politicians against silencing media

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