SPECIAL GREETINGS TO MY FRIENDS IN THE MEDIA AS THE WORLD MARKS WORLD PRESS DAY
It was Thomas Jefferson who said that, “the only security of all is in a free press.”
Indeed, what meaning could we have made out of the concept of Public Accountability without the Press?
World Press Day is very significant for the basic reason of raising awareness about the importance of Press freedom everywhere in the world. Through such awareness, governments and relevant agencies will be reminded of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression as provided in Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in section 22 and 39 of the Nigeria Constitution which further gained strength by the establishment of the Freedom of Information Act, signed into law on 28th May, 2011 by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration..
For all citizens who appreciate their sacred right to freedom of speech and information, it is important to take advantage of this day in advancing the cause that free communication and expression through various media, is a right to be exercised freely. The world must know that such freedom implies the absence of interference from the state. Media managers must be aware of the relevant constitutional provisions that help to preserve and protect the right to Press freedom.
I therefore join all men and women of goodwill to congratulate the media industry and all her experts and practitioners for keeping us informed and demanding responsibility from governments and public servants.
While I commend the Nigerian state for its tangible efforts in recognizing and protecting the freedom of speech and information, it is my wish that the governments will keep improving in this crucial duty as we gradually move to take our place in a rapidly growing world of technology and human Civilization.
Happy World Press Freedom Day to all my media friends and workers!