By Olugbenga Salami
As journalists mark the World Press Freedom Day, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has commended the Fourth Estate of the Realm in Nigeria for doing a great job in holding the mirror to the society, speaking truth to power and insisting on government being accountable to the people.
Lawan, in a message of felicitation released on Monday by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, acknowledges that men of the pen profession in Nigeria have made heroic contributions to the society and have continued to do so at great costs.
The Senate President stated that it is in this regard that he reflects on the theme for this year celebration of the World Press Freedom Day, which is: “Journalism under digital siege.”
The theme, he noted was to draw attention to “surveillance and digitally-mediated attacks on journalists” around the world in their course of duty.
The Senate President assures journalists in Nigeria that the National Assembly will continue through legislations to protect them and enhance the practice of their noble profession.
“Our fledgling democracy can only thrive under an environment of free speech and freedom of the press. That freedom is an essential ingredient of democracy.
“However, journalists must also continue to take due cognizance of their responsibilities to the society by wielding their mighty pens and keyboards with circumspection.
“In this age of information, practicioners, whether in the traditional or new media have an obligation now more than ever before to uphold the ethics and tenets of the journalism profession and show the way in responsible dissemination of information.
“Because of the fear of the dangerous consequences of the abuse of the power of the media, some people have called for the regulation of social media.
“As a parliament, the National Assembly will not allow free speech and press freedom to be constricted but will also strive to ensure that the freedom is not abused.
“On this note, I wish the Nigerian journalists a happy World Press Freedom Day,” Lawan stated.