The Bayelsa Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Friday called on governments to provide adequate security for journalists deployed for elections.
Mr Samuel Numonengi, Chairman, NUJ, Bayelsa Council, made the call while addressing journalists as part of activities to mark the 2019 International Press Freedom Day at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Yenagoa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2019 International Press Freedom Day had the theme: “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”.
Numonengi said that the theme was apt considering the critical role of the press in shaping democratic practices vis-a-vis its role in ensuring free, fair and credible elections.
According to him, the day serves as a reminder of the importance of free press in democratic practices as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993.
He noted that the UN had been leading in the advocacy and propagation of the fundamental principles of press freedom and free speech.
Numonengi said that no democracy would be complete without access to transparent and reliable information, adding that free press was the cornerstone for building a fair and impartial society.
He urged politicians, leaders and governments to support media freedom as its served as a catalyst for deepening democracy and sustaining development in digital times.
Numonengi paid tribute to journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty, and called for defence of the media from attacks on their independence to enable them to be the society’s watchdog.
NAN reports that hundreds of journalists in Bayelsa turned up for the celebration