The National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalis (NUJ) t has called on the federal government to release all journalists that are being detained in jail.
The President made this plea during the opening remarks at an online discussion to celebrate the World Press Freedom Day organised by UNESCO in collaboration with other Stakeholders on Tuesday, May 5.
According to him, “We equally call for the release of all other journalists being held elsewhere in the world because of their work in journalism, especially now that COVID 19 is ravaging the world and persons in confinement are more at risk”.
“The NUJ calls for the unconditional release of Kufre Carter, sports presenter with XL 106.9 FM in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, who was reportedly detained by the DSS over a leaked telephone conversation he had with a medical doctor on the method deployed by the Akwa Ibom state government in handling the spread of Coronavirus in the state”.
“He had been arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Uyo on a three-count charge bothering on defamation of character, he added”.
Isiguzo also stated that the WPFD which we are celebrating today recognises journalists for their, professional work, tenacity and contributions to the development of democracy and good governance. No democracy can work progressively without a professional, efficient and independent media that will hold those in government to account for their actions or inactions.
He further stated that safety and security of journalists are mandatory requirements for the attainment of quality conscience. Adding that journalism strives to ensure equity and equality in a democratic setting, THE DAILY VENDOR reports.
“When journalists are made to work in fear, democracy gets crippled and citizens continue to wallow in abject poverty, illiteracy, hunger and disease. It is therefore becoming clearer and more urgent that good journalism is required now more than ever before”.
However, This year’s celebration is low keyed due to the rampaging Coronavirus pandemic. This explains the fragility of human society.
Journalists, like other frontline workers are increasingly being exposed to danger and it is also clear that at no time in our recent history is the media industry under threats than now. There is therefore the urgent need to initiate remedial measures to sustain the industry and ensure that journalists do not suffer more collateral damages.
The President also commended UNESCO for providing this platform for interaction and for being a worthy partner.