Abuja- As Nigerians join the rest of the world to celebrate the World Press Freedom Day 2017, journalists have been charged to guard the Freedom of Press jealously by reporting responsibly.
Speaking at the event organised by the European Union, the Head of Political, Press and Information, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Pauline Torehall noted that close attention is paid to press freedom as it is a key indicator of the degree of freedom enjoyed by the citizens in any society.
Torehall stressed that freedom of expression remains challenged in many parts of the world, adding that the EU is strongly concerned over the continued increase of acts of intimidation, pressure and violence against journalists that take place across the world.
While noting that Freedom of expression is in general respected in Nigeria, she expressed belief that the freedom will be jealously guarded and called on Journalists and other media actors to take care to ensure that their statutory freedom is not lost to self-censorship
“For us in the European Union, where we notice a breach of freedom of expression, we follow them keenly and expect that they should be dealt with in accordance with the principles of International laws” she said.
Also, the Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Garba Abari charged the Nigerian press to exercise its freedom with a sense of responsibility, stressing that freedom without responsibility leads to anarchy
He therefore urged the Nigerian press to use the opportunity of the 2017 World Press Freedom Day to raise public awareness on the dangers of irresponsible use of the press which has led to conflicts in some communities and sometimes has lured youths to irresponsible behaviour.
The 2017 World Press Freedom Day with the theme, “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media Role in Advancing Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Society”, drew dignitaries from the Canadian Commission in Nigeria,UNESCO, Nigeria Press Council, Nigeria Police Force, National Human Rights Commission, NUJ and others.