The National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzor has called on government at all levels to recognise the role of the media and protect media practitioners for the sustenance of democratic governance in the country.
Isiguzor made the call at the grand final of the 2020 Press Week organised Kogi State Council of NUJ in Lokoja.
The NUJ President said that governments at Federal, State and Local Government levels must appreciate the fact that the media plays a vital role in the delivery of good governance and in the survival of democratic governance.
“In the absence of media democracy is imperilled. The media remains the oxygen of a working, thriving, responsible democratic governance.
“What some of the leaders do not know is that if you destroy the media you have inadvertently destroyed democratic governance.
“It is true that if you want to excel you must have to allow the media to be your friend, you must allow the media to remain, the media is a strategic stakeholder in the stakeholding process.
“If you continue to treat them as, “We versus them” if you will continue to treat them as guests to governance if you continue to treat them as foreigners we are not helping this democracy,” he said.
Isiguzor said that the country’s democratic system, 20 years after, was still at an experimental level because the nation is yet to appreciate the unique features that make democratic governance unique.
The NUJ President appealed to the security agencies in the state especially the police, to rise to the occasion and unmask those behind the shooting of The Sun Newspaper’s correspondent, Mr Emmanuel Adeyemi.
“The police must unmask them. This is not going to be one of those cases that they would usually sweep under the carpet. They must unmask those unknown gunmen and make them known to us.
“We will not accept anything less because it has come to the doorstep of the sun correspondent, nobody knows whose doorstep they would invade tomorrow morning or even this evening”, he added.
Adeiza Momohjimoh, State Council chairman of the union, in his address of welcome, expressed gratitude to God for saving the life of Adeyemi, whom he said went through a successful surgery, following the gunshot he received during the crisis.
Momohjimoh described the attack on Adeyemi as unfortunate as the “in the looting that preceded the#Endsars protests, had little or nothing to do with NUJ members moreso that the secretariat was not located close to any warehouse.
The NUJ Council chairman, however, expressed gratitude to God that no life was lost along with members while Adeyemi who shot on his way to the Press Centre had a successful surgery and was recovering fast.”