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Press Freedom Day : Rights & Protection Of Journalists, Tony Ojukwu Highlights

by Austin Areh
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To mark the Press Freedom day ,  The
National Human   Rights Commission (NHRC) has declared that  Nigerian journalists need to be treated better especially when handling their professional tasks.

This was put forward by the The Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, who made this statement in a speech  commemorating this year’s World Press Freedom Day, for May 3rd, 2022.

He further said that journalists deserved  better treatments and fairer working conditions than what is currently existing. In addition he said that many journalists are exposed to intimidation, harassment and other non professional vices over time.

In his words , the press, which has played a vital role in the processes of Nigerians return to a democratic dispensation has been marginalized as against the normal expectations of Support as it still plays a vital role in maintaining the current state of democracy in Nigeria. In his words, he described Journalists as ;

“The oxygen of democracy and agents of change and development”. He went further to postulate that their constitutional duty, which is contained  in Section 22 of the Nigerian constitution and reads “to hold the government accountable to the people” establishes them as the proponents  who are charged to perform an important duty to the nation. In his words ;

“The commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day is not an opportunity to witch-hunt any person or institution, but is a period to reminisce the fundamental principles of press freedom, guage the state of press freedom globally, defend the Media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who are either human rights defenders in custody or captivity or have lost their lives in the line of duty,”

Furthermore , he attributed the year’s theme for the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, “Journalism under digital siege” is important  as it highlights , “the impact of the digital era on the freedom of the press, the security of journalists and access to information and privacy”.

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