Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, has reiterated the government’s commitment to a free press, saying it played its part in instituting democracy in our country and should be recognized for this vital role. The minister spoke while receiving officials of the International Press Institute (IPI), Nigeria, on Tuesday, 19 December 2023.
The Minister re-echoed the position of President Bola Tinubu on the matter, saying he was a product of democratic struggle, had every reason to support freedom of the press, and had promised that his government would not consciously trample on the press.
“In a democratic society where the role of the media is established, we must allow it to play its role in reporting and setting agenda for development. We only ask practitioners to be responsible in this duty,” said the minister.
Alhaji Idris noted that the Nigerian polity is desirous of social engineering for which the government requires the support of all stakeholders, including the press. Cleaning this system for optimum performance is a collective responsibility.
He commended the President of IPI Nigeria on his appointment and urged him to apply his excellent example in online publishing to his new role.
Earlier, the President of the IPI, Musikilu Mojeed, said the media landscape in Nigeria is improving, and there is renewed hope for media practice. He called on the government to ensure the safety of journalists wherever they work.
He reassured the minister, who he described as a foundation member of the institute in Nigeria, of their support. He expressed optimism that this administration has marked itself as a media-friendly nation with the minister’s appointment.