Project Nigeria In Good Light, Jonathan Charges Media Practitioners
President Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to the media to exercise its
freedom with responsibility to Nigerians and rise to the defence of
democracy as the 2015 elections draw nearer.
The President made the appeal on Thursday in Abuja at a fund-raising
dinner organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
Represented by the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, the President
said in spite of the challenges, democracy in the past 14 years had served
Nigerians better than the decades of military rule.
He urged the media to exercise the freedom it presently enjoy with utmost
responsibility to the nation, noting that the media remained a critical
factor in the success or otherwise of the 2015 election.
“I am appealing to the media; this democracy we are seeing is far better
than the military regimes that we have had.
“My challenge to practitioners is to present our country in a positive
way; let us defend this country and the democracy we currently enjoy.
“Nigeria can only be fixed by the people of Nigeria, that is why I am
particularly appealing to the media to project our country in their
reports,'' he said.
Jonathan added that in spite of the challenges in the country, Nigeria had
done significantly well both at home and in the continent.
According to him, Nigeria represents the hope of `Black Africa' and
Nigerians, including the media cannot afford to fail in their
Other speakers at the occasion called for a total change in the
orientation to media reportage of events, and political actors in the
The chairman of the occasion, Prof. Jibril Aminu, recalled that from the
first republic through the era of military dictatorship, the media played
active roles in stabilising the polity.
He urged practitioners to reflect their love for Nigeria in their reports
to help stabilise the polity, especially during electioneering periods.
He said that Nigerians had no other country to run to hence the need for
all Nigerians to put aside ethnic, regional, religious and political
differences in the interest of national unity and development.
The governors of Edo and Delta, Comrade Adams Oshiomole and Dr Emmanuel
Uduaghan, in their separate remarks said the unity of Nigeria was not
They appealed to the media to close ranks with political and opinion
leaders in the country and work for the unity of the nation regardless of
the bickering among politicians.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of the Guild, Mr Femi
Adesina, said the idea of a national secretariat had been conceived by
past leaders of the Guild.
He said that the current executive was only building on the foundation
already laid by previous leaders.
Adesina said that the secretariat complex and an annex would be cited in
either Lagos or Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Maku announced a N50 million
donation by the Federal Government for the project, while donations from
Edo and Delta state governments were undisclosed. (NAN)