By NBF News

The Nigerian Union of Journalists yesterday condemned recent statements by the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on National Assembly Matters, Senator Mohammed Abba-Aji on the passage of the FoI Bill by the House of Representatives. The National President of the union, Mr. Mohammed Garuba said the pronouncement by the Senator was condemnable and uncalled for and should be disregarded.

Garuba who spoke during a visit to the management of The Sun Publishing Limited said the Bill was not for journalists alone, 'it is for democracy, it is for Nigerians, it is for transparency and it is for accountability.'

Garuba who queried the rational behind the statement by the Special Adviser said the NUJ hope the Senator was not speaking the mind of the executive arm of government

The national President of the NUJ who was on an advocacy visit to The Sun management called on the National Assembly to ignore Abba-Aji as he does not have the capacity to guide the mind of the Senate.

Garuba however expressed hope that the FoI Bill would be signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan before the end of the present regime.

Garuba, had earlier said the passage of the Bill was a victory for democracy as it would promote accountability, transparency and good governance.

The NUJ president said it would also enhance investigative journalism and the credibility of the Nigerian media which he said, was the most vibrant in Africa. He said the passage was a welcome development and a progressive decision by members of the House of Representatives.

'As you are aware, the agitations for the bill have been for a while. It is a very progressive move. It is a victory for democracy. It will enhance accountability, transparency and good governance.

For the media, it will enhance investigative journalism. We hope the Senate will also pass the bill before the legislative year so that the two chambers can harmonise it for presidential assent. I commend the House of Representatives. I have gone through the Bill as passed, I think it is fair.

'As leaders, we will try to ensure that our members do not abuse it because that has been the fear. It will benefit the politicians more. The bill will enhance credibility of the media. It is a welcome development,' he said