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24 Years Of Civil Rule & June 12 @30: IPC Seeks Support, Greater Recognition Of Media Role In Democracy

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In commemoration of the 24th anniversary of Nigeria’s democracy, the International Press Centre (IPC), has enjoined the government, relevant institutions and stakeholders to take urgent measures to guarantee media independence and enhanced welfare and safety of journalists.

IPC said in a statement that it is important for the new administration led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to recognise the vanguard role the media played in the June 12, 1993 struggles that paved way for civil rule in 1999 and appreciate the fact that the media still have crucial roles to play in the democratic journey.

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According to Mr. Lanre Arogundade, IPC’s Executive Director, “Democracy cannot come to play without the support of the media. To this extent the media should further be encouraged to perform its role, particularly as stipulated in Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution, ‘to monitor governance and hold government accountable. For this to happen it is important to create an enabling environment for the media.”

Mr. Lanre Arogundade then listed the enabling environment that would help the media to thrive and be in a position to contribute to democracy and development to include:

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· A press freedom friendly regulatory environment. The media regulatory bodies should be independent and empowered to help the development of the media not otherwise;

· The review and amendment of all laws that serve as drawbacks on press freedom;

· The guarantee of the safety of journalists and protection from all forms of attacks;

· Improved welfare of journalists so that they can carry out their work without fear of hunger and poverty and;

· A stop to molestation of journalists by security agents and all forms of surveillance on journalists.

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The IPC, however, also enjoined the media and journalists to exercise due diligence and pay deserved attention to ethics and professionalism in the discharge of their functions so as to ensure the integrity of information and prevent unnecessary conflicts.

The Street Reporters Newspaper reports that the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola, was annulled by the regime of the then Military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, leading to protests by pro-democracy activists, which eventually led to the exit the the then maximum military leader and setting up of an interim government.

Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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