I won't stifle press freedom in Nigeria, Buhari insists


President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday declared that his administration will not stifle press freedom in the country.

He condemned attacks on media practitioners in Africa and assured that his administration is not and will never be a threat to the Nigerian media.

Buhari, in his keynote address at the opening of the Congress of the Federation of African Journalists in Abuja, condemned the attack on media practitioners in the continent of Africa.

Represented by the Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the President said his administration is committed to the safety of citizens including journalists.

Buhari said, ‘‘I can report to this Congress that not a single journalist is being detained or harassed in our country today. The government of the day is not a threat to the media, and it is not about to stifle press freedom or deny anyone his or her constitutionally guaranteed rights.

‘‘Nigeria views the International Declaration for the Protection of Journalists as a positive step, and strongly condemns attacks targeting journalists in the course of their duties.

‘‘This administration sees the media as a partner in progress, and has never even contemplated harassing, not to mention killing, any journalist.

‘‘The media represents the eyes and ears of the world. Any attempt to silence it through the harassment, arrests, detention and murder of journalists, is akin to making the world go blind and deaf.”

The President however urged media organisations to adopt best safety protocols for their journalists.

‘‘They must develop and implement procedures and tools aimed at ensuring the physical and psychological safety, as well as the digital security of journalists, in line with the International Declaration for the Protection of Journalists,” he said.