Press Freedom Shouldn’t be Restrained, Fayemi Warns
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has restated that the freedom of the press shouldn’t be repressed in the country despite the perceived inadequacies on the part of some practitioners.
Fayemi insisted that no matter the excesses being exhibited by the press, that under no guise should its freedom be abridged or tinkered with.
The Chairman, Nigeria’s Governors’ Forum, spoke in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday evening, during a dinner organised by the Catholic Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye, for members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ekiti Council.
Fayemi contended that journalists had etched their names indelibly in the history of the country, having at various times fought for Nigeria’s independence and cleared the way for Nigeria to navigate to constitutional democracy from the military junta.
“In the fight for our Independence and the sustained agitations against military for the journey to Nigeria democracy, journalists played prominent roles, even at the risk of their lives and jobs.
“The press stands for the people. It is the voice of the voiceless. Though, you may have some things that appeared so terrifying now that we have social media, because of lack of control, but you still have to go to the mainstream journalism to confirm, because they have control and gatekeepers, who can be held accountable.
“Even if there are excesses, the freedom of the press should not be restrained. We should look for other ways to correct these perceived inadequacies.”
Fayemi said governing Ekiti had been so challenging since 2018 due to paucity of funds, saying he would continue to look for humble ways to seek understanding of Ekiti people about his policies and delivery while also maintaining prudence in the management of the state’s scarce resources.
Based on the request of the NUJ Chairman in Ekiti, Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela, demanding a befitting Press Centre from the government, Fayemi promised to set machinery in motion to ensure that the project comes to fruition.
Bishop Ajakaye, who advised Fayemi against leaving politics for dirty people after bowing out in 2022, charged him to look inwards and bring a successor that can sustain and consolidate the gains of democracy for Ekiti citizens after his departure.
Advising Fayemi, the cleric, who is also a journalist, said: “Don’t leave politics for those who do things the old ways.
“Politics is not a dirty game, but we have dirty people in it. I will call Governor Fayemi and his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi to come and face us after leaving office and plead with them not to leave politics for those who loved to do things the old ways.
“I have also told him to give us a good successor, because success without a good successor is a failure in reality,” he stated.
The Catholic Bishop promised the realisation of his vision to raise a sum of N1 billion to fund education and health in the state, branding the two sectors as pivotal to the survival of Ekiti.
Bishop Ajakaye described the dinner, attended by journalists, political appointees, heads of security formations and higher institutions in Ekiti, as a way of recognising the newsmen for their roles in building a Nigerian society we can be proud of.
The NUJ chairman applauded the Bishop for his immeasurable love for journalists operating in the state, assuring that his colleagues would continue to exhibit and promote those ideas that would add panache to journalism practice.