Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Mr. Peter Obi, has encouraged journalists and media practitioners not to be dispirited in their struggle for a better society, irrespective of the attacks often meted out on them in their line of duty, noting that a vigorous press is essential for societal development.
Obi, who gave the encouragement through a statement to mark the recent International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, explained that journalists played critical roles in every society. He said that journalists are often at the risk of attacks by authoritarian regimes and sometimes violent groups seeking to gag the media, noting that such attacks could depress other journalists bent on advancing the cause of society through the media.
Obi urged Nigerian journalists not to be discouraged by some of the harsh realities they face in their line of duties. He told them to continue to resist every form of media suppression and remain fair and professional in their media practices.
“There have been reports of attacks on journalists discharging their professional duties. Some of these attacks are often not well investigated in order to bring the perpetrators to justice. We must form a united front against attacks on journalist which obviously are attacks on press freedom, a vital ingredient for achieving societal development.
“I encourage journalists and media practitioners to remain resolute in using their career to advance the cause of humanity,” Obi said.
He advised the government to ensure the freedom of press and security of journalists and media practitioners so as to build a better and more informed society.