Bad governance responsible for stifling media freedom – NGO

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The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) on Friday attributed the decline in media freedom to bad governance.

According to it, this stifles the ability of the media to freely expose corruption and injustice in the country.

The Executive Director of the organisation, Mr Auwal Musa, said this during a one-day workshop on “The Protection of Civilian And Civilian Harm Mitigation In Armed Conflict” which held at Amber Residence, Ikeja, Lagos.

Musa said that the freedom of expression was gradually going down compared to previous assessments and this had been largely due to intimidation and harassment in the country.

“This has led to a global drop in the rating of the Freedom of Media in our country.

“Many journalists are not able to freely carry out their constitutional and professional duties because they have been attacked for exposing wrongdoing in the society.

“Without effective media contribution toward deepening democracy by exposing corruption, human rights abuses, injustice, impunity and bad governance, there is no way we can actually succeed in democratising Nigeria,” he said.

The director said that the media was specifically empowered to expose wrongdoings in the country according to our Constitution which gave it the legal foundation to do that.

“However, the media do not have basic legal protection, so the danger, risk and lack of appreciation are much,  yet the media still carries out its duties for the country to survive.

“Therefore, as a  legislative advocacy organisation, we are doing everything possible to ensure that we have a rejigged media profession.

“We want to carry out a framework that will protect and cover journalists to carry out their constitutional and professional works so that they are protected against powerful Nigerians,” he said.

Musa said it was important to provide a framework that would help journalists exercise their fundamental and constitutional rights without fear of intimidation.

He said that these rights would enable them to expose deviousness, corruption and bad governance.

Musa said that the nature of the media had changed rapidly due to technology and global information which had rapidly transformed information and communication activities.

He said that it was also high time our policymakers provided a legal framework on civilian protection in relation to the insurgency.

 

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