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World Press Freedom Day: Oyo NUJ Calls for Protection of Journalists

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council has called on governments at all levels to take decisive steps in ensuring the protection of media workers to strengthen and maintain press freedom.

The Union made the call on Tuesday in a statement co-signed by Comrade Ademola Babalola and Comrade Sola Oladapo, Chairman and Secretary of NUJ Oyo State Council, to mark the World Press Freedom Day 2022.

“This appeal is coming in the face of plethora of challenges confronting the profession which include; hostile government policies, maltreatment and assasination of journalists by hostile stakeholders and poor remuneration for great jobs being done by journalists all over the world.

“The World Press Freedom Day is observed annually on the 3rd of May with the aim of celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom, evaluating the freedom around the world and defending the media from attacks on their independence.

“It also serves as an opportunity to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

“The day serves as a reminder of the importance of free press in democratic practices as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993.

“The UN had been leading in the advocacy and propagation of the fundamental principles of press freedom and free speech.

“The theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day is ‘Journalism under digital siege’. The theme aims to highlight the multiple ways in which freedom of press in being attacked by surveillance and digitally-mediated attacks on journalists”, the statement said.

While urging journalists not to relent, the Union said the media must remain professional and known for providing facts and insightful analysis for holding leaders in every sector accountable and for speaking truth to power.

It further stated that, “Journalists should be more professional and ensure that they are adding value to the society. We also need to be accountable.

“We practice in an environment where the freedom of the press is not guaranteed. However, we have continued to trudge on, believing like we conquered the military and gained the enthronement of democracy, we will eventually conquer the forces of dark oppression in our country to enjoy unrestricted press freedom.

“We call on governments to protect journalists and to strengthen and maintain press freedom, which is essential for a future of peace, justice and human rights for all.

“We will not relent in our collective demand for a more friendly environment for Journalism practice in Nigeria and Africa in general. We will not rest on our oars until freedom of expression and total press freedom is guaranteed in our dear country.

“We equally call on journalists to continue to hold on to the tenets of journalism practice and never give in to intimidation of any sort. With God on our side, we will continue to emerge victorious as purveyors of information.”

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