Chris Steven, Abuja
Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, says the media, as an important pillar of democracy, must purge itself of all prejudice in order to be able to hold all the levels and arms of government to account.
He stated this in Abuja on Thursday, in a statement to mark the 2018 World Press Freedom Day with the theme “Keeping Power In Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law.”
Mohammed appealed to the media to always ensure fairness, impartiality, truth and accuracy in reporting the activities of government, in line with the principles of responsible journalism.
While commending the media for its role so far in promoting democracy in Nigeria, he said the media should strive to operate above political influence and interference.
According to him, as the political parties and the nation in general prepare for another electioneering process, the media must ensure the transparency of the entire political process through unbiased and objective reporting.
The Minister expressed concern at how some vested political interests are exploring the media to promote divisions along ethnic and religious lines in the country, saying such unpatriotic conduct will not augur well for the nation’s unity and progress.
He said the government is not unaware of the effort of mischief makers to use the social media, in particular, to undermine the government and promote ethno-religious crisis, especially ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
Mohammed, however, restated the commitment of the present administration to press freedom in the country, saying the administration would continue to ensure that journalists are able to carry out their duties unfettered.