President Muhammadu Buhari has raised an alarm about politicians’ sponsorship of political news or publications capable of inciting hatred, division, violence, and chaos in the country ahead of the 2023 general elections.
According to a statement released in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day, observed every year on May 3, the Nigerian leader urged 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.
Maintaining that the independence of the media is as important as the sanctity and will of Nigerians expressed through the ballot box, Buhari added that there is a need for 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.
Outlining the need for the media and the general public to 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 and also 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”.
Buhari further disclosed that the Federal Government is working hard to support media organizations in Nigeria through the provision of better internet access to underserved communities, and to achieve 95 percent digital literacy by 2030.