FG Has No Plans to Gag the Press – Maku
Mr Labaran Maku, Minister of Information and Culture, has given the assurance that the Federal Government has no plan to gag the press.
The minister gave the assurance on Thursday in Asaba at the opening of the 9th All Nigeria Editors Conference.
Maku said that the media were operating in an atmosphere of freedom and vigorous debate.
He said the media had remained the freest in Africa and added that even in the military era; it operated with a considerable degree of freedom.
“Nigeria has remained the leader in terms of press freedom in Africa and gagging of the press in this country is not practicable,” he said.
He expressed worries over some unethical practices among some journalists as well as poor quality of reports and urged the Guild to do all it could to reverse the trend.
“We must worry about the quality of our reports and we need strong ethics for the profession to survive,” he said.
Maku said also that government was favourably disposed to discuss issues pertaining to press council with the Nigeria Guild of Editors and other stakeholders.
The minister said security remained a very serious challenge to the country and called on the media to join hands with government in fighting the menace.
He said the government was poised to end terrorism and so, had deployed all strategies to fight it.
Maku commended the editors for organising the conference and added that it was appropriate and timely.
He added that the transformation agenda of the present administration was based on government’s realisation that oil resources would be exhausted.
The minister said the government had embarked on measures at revitalising other sectors of the economy to end the country’s dependency on oil.
Maku further urged the media to focus more on the country’s economy than politics and said that government would continue to identify with the activities of the Guild.