The Presidency has assured that the Muhammadu Buhari administration would not muzzle the media.
Presidential Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, gave the assurance on Thursday while speaking at the First Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, held at Renaissance Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Adesina said that the President Buhari administration is committed to freedom of press hence, would not gag the media.
He however, enjoined the Nigerian media to be responsible and to only engage in constructive criticism of government activities.
“This government is not interested in muzzling the media in anyway. We are committed to freedom of speech.
” Media should be positively critical, media should be responsible. Count this government out of muzzling the media,” Adesina stressed.
The Presidential Media Adviser told the August gathering that he had been part of GOCOP from inception because members of the Guild are credible professionals that all stakeholders must identify with.
According to him, ” When you see a responsible organisation like GOCOP, we all must support them.
“I identify with GOCOP because I know it has what it takes to do the right thing. I have been a part of GOCOP from the beginning,” Adesina said.
In his welcome address, the outgoing President of GOCOP, Musikilu Mojeed of Premium Times, traced the history of the Guild, saying it has been committed to peer review.
He noted that the number of online news platforms has ballooned in the last few years, stressing the need to protect the cyber space by setting stringent conditions for online publishers to join GOCOP.
Mojeed expressed the readiness of the Guild to partner with relevant government agencies to sanitize online media practice.
“We are ready to name and shame any member who engages in misconduct,” he told the gathering.
However, he pointedly said the Guild would not welcome any attempt by the government to muzzle or gag the online platforms under any guise.
Key Speakers at the Conference were university teacher, Professor Akin Onigbinde, Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi and Group Chairman, Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, all of who spoke on the theme of the Conference, “Sustaining Growth through Diversification of the Economy.”