President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja said that his administration would uphold press freedom and ensure a cordial working relationship between the government and the media in the task of nation building.
The president made the promise at the 5th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in a message delivered by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adeshina.
The theme of the conference is: “ Fostering Safety of Journalists and Building Synergy with Agents of the State.’’
“The country looks forward to a body of journalists that would be partners of the government in nation building. Transparency and accountability will be our watch word all through,’’ he said.
He advised journalists to conduct free, fair and credible elections as they elect new leaders to pilot the affairs of the union in the next three years, stressing that the country and the whole world were looking forward to witnessing credible elections.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, represented by Senator Shehu Sani, in his remark, urged the NUJ to conduct credible elections to enable it to move the nation forward.
Saraki commended journalists for making sure that the nation’s democracy worked and called for insurance cover for journalists by employers as well as enhanced salaries to improve their standard of living.
Also speaking, Malam Muhammed Garba, the out-going NUJ President, called for free, fair and credible elections and noted that the media has contributed immensely to the nation’s democratic process and deserve commendation.
Garba, now the Kano State Commissioner for Information, appealed to members of the National Assembly to urgently resolve their differences in the interest of the nation.
The Speaker, the House of Representatives, Rep. Yakubu Dogara, commended journalists for their doggedness in the struggle for independence and freeing the country from military dictatorship.
Dogara urged journalists to continue with their job as watchdogs of the society, ensure balance in their reportage and partner with the government in order to move the country forward.