NHRC Boss reiterates commitment to safety of Journalists in Nigeria

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC),Tony Ojukwu SAN has assured Nigeria Journalists of a free and safe environment for the practice of journalism in Nigeria.He said the National Human Rights Commission is poised to ensure that the rights of media practitioners other citizens are protected in Nigeria.


Bar. Tony Ojukwu stated this today Wednesday 7th September,2022 at a media parley held in Abuja.


He said the essence of the media parley was to rub minds with the media and bring up ideas and strategies that will enhance productivity in the commission and also daily reportage of issues in the country, which he said human rights remained an integral part of.


Ojukwu commended the media for their contributions and support towards the promotion of human rights in Nigeria.He said the commission was not oblivious of the fact that many journalists had on their own initiated and written special features and articles highlighting one thematic area of human rights or another and stressed the need to respect and enforce such rights to the benefit of the state and the citizens.


“May I also seize this occasion to put it on record that despite obvious challenges of holding the government accountable to the people as enshrined in section 22 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.There is no gainsaying that the media have consistently kept the public abreast with information on diverse issues,this has not only assisted citizens to demand accountability from the leaders but it has also enhanced citizens’ participation in governance.Creating avenues for discussions,be they political, religious, economy, lifestyle is essential for open, inclusive and transparent government which form the bedrock of human rights in the modern society.”


He said the commission will continue to partner with other relevant stakeholders including media,to ensure freedom of expression and as the press remained one of the hallmarks of a civilized society.


He further enjoined journalists to strategize on how best to work collaboratively with NHRC towards a better and improved society.


In his remarks,the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ, FCT Council,Comrade Emma Ogbeche called on the Commission to ensure that Nigerians have access to the reports on the Independent Investigative Panel on End SARS protests code named ‘IIP-SARS’, organized by the commission.


He also condemned incessant clampdown down on media houses and journalists in Nigeria, urged NHRC to ensure adequate protection of Nigeria Journalists ‘rights.




Also, the Chairman,NUJ FCT Correspondents’ chapel,Jide Oyekunle commended the National Human Rights Commission for the unrelenting effort in ensuring period interaction with the media over the exponential increase in the rights violations of the citizens by the security agents in the country.


He said Nigeria Union of Journalists will continue to carry out its statutory mandate and responsibility and also support the commission to ensure that the issue of human rights abuses and arbitrary arrests of Nigerians reduce to the barest minimum in the country.


“We will continue to create the awareness and educate more Nigerians particularly the vulnerable ( the women and children) on the need to know their rights and how to seek redress whenever such rights are being infringed or trampled upon.


“If Nigeria media can survive the dark days of the military regime for speaking truth to power through their reporage for sustenance and enthronement of democracy in the country, then we will continue to hold the government and officials and security agents accountable to any infraction against the rights of any Nigerian.


“Just as we all know that media practitioners are not immuned from the subject matter with media and civic environment is becoming more toxic, shrinking and hostile due to the penchant of the government for media repression and suppression arising from intolerant posture to criticisms and dissenting voices.


” It will interest you to know that the name of senior journalist, Mr. Lawrence Arogundade was just removed from the watch lists after 38 Years by the Nigerian Secret police.


” Nigeria has continued to fair badly in the Pres Freedom Index . Nigeria was ranked SECOND WORST IN WEST AFRICA in the Press Freedom Violation therefore putting us in second place behind Ghana in the regional quarterly report on Freedom of Expression (FOE) jointly put together by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and Nigeria Union of Journalists between January–March 2022.


“We have continued to emphasise that journalism is not a crime, journalism is not an opposition , journalism is the oxygen of democracy and positive change and development of any democratic society.


“And if democracy is about good governance, accountability and transparency then press freedom should not be denied, curtailed, restricted or taken away”. Oyekunle stated.


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