President Mohammadu Buhari has commended
the Nigeria media in their role in the fight against the dreaded virus known as
The president made this disclosure in commemoration
marking the world press Freedom Day says ‘the good work they have done, and are
doing, as the nation confronts the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic remains golden.
In his message on the occasion of
World, Press Freedom Day celebrated every May 3, President Buhari specifically
commended the media for their role in Nigeria’s effort to tackle the disease he
described as “unseen enemy called COVID-19.”
“We cannot overemphasise the role of
the media in keeping people informed and educated on the pernicious virus,
which has no friend or foe. It simply seeks to mow down anyone and everyone in
its path, and public awareness is very important, lest we become like sitting
ducks. The media are doing this quite effectively,” the President said.
He applauded the role media have played
thus far, and charged that they continue, “till we get to safe harbour when
the world and our country are finally free of this greatest health challenge in
Reflecting on the theme of World Press
Freedom Day 2020, ‘Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of
Disinformation,’ President Buhari said Nigeria has a very unhealthy dose of
disinformation, fake news, hate news, purveyed by people who use media
platforms, particularly the digital variant.
“They don’t mean well for us, and no
country can afford to close its eyes to the evil disinformation can cause. In a
plural polity like ours, it has the potential to rupture relationships, sow
seeds of discord, and set on the path of destabilization. When fake and hate
news are added unabashedly, it can only signpost doom. I urge the press to use
the occasion of World Press Freedom Day to see how this can be vigorously
tackled,” he said.
The President pledged a recommitment to
the ideals of freedom of the press, noting that democracy thrives better in an atmosphere of transparency, as opposed to opacity.
“We appreciate the cooperation we have
enjoyed from the media in tackling the Coronavirus, and look forward to same,
post COVID-19, when all hands must be on deck to repair the damages done to our
economic and social lives”.