In order to embark on unbiased coverage of the 2019 forthcoming elections and to promote tangible progress in the quest for democratic stability, legal practitioners has admonished that Nigerian Press should be free from all censorship.
This statement was made by the Keynote Speaker, Chief Whole Olanipekun (SAN) at the 2018 Annual lecture of the National Association of Judiciary correspondent themed “The Role of Judiciary, Media in the 2019 Election” in Lagos.
According to him, Nigerian press has come of age and has demonstrated patriotism, determination, altruism and a deep commitment to national growth and Democratic ideals over the years.
“The time has come for us in the country to actually appreciate the vital role of tee press to every sphere of our life as a nation, including the 2019 general elections and our democracy.
“The teeming population of Nigerians all look up to the press for salvation and redemption”, Olanipekun noted.
He added that, the Nigerian Press cannot, for any reason whatsoever, afford to let Nigerians down at this point in time.
However, as a way to foster nascent democracy, Olanipekun posited that the press has a sacred duty to work in partnership with the judicairy and the entire legal profession to enthrone the rule of law in the country.
“The press should be at the forefront in the fight against bad government, obnoxious laws and invasion of the citizens’ rights by the government or the mighty”, he said.
The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, who was ably represented by Justice Josephine Oyefeso supported that, the media acts as a watchdog with a duty to provide unbiased, fair and informative coverage of the 2019 elections.
“In the last election, it played a vital role as a watchdog in the process of electioneering.
“Responsible reporting of events must be the guiding principle of the media, apart from the electronic and print media, social media has also gained tremendous ground in this country.
“The need for responsible reporting to avoid fake news, cannot be overemphasized we must take the good and jettison the bad”, she stated.
Lagos State Attorney-General of Lagos State, Adeniji Kazeem, said, “Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is committed to ensuring swift and fair administration of justice.
According to Kazeem, “Equally, the populace depend largely on professional reporting journalism and I must commend the members of this Association for attaining the required level of this societal obligation.
“As stakeholders here seated, it is therefore our collective responsibility as a society to continue to uphold fair, independent and accountable institutions to carry out its work in a responsible manner.
“One of the few questions people are asking is that, can we ever get it right in this country?
“The answer is yes but it can only happen when we all, particularly the media and the judiciary play our roles effectively”, he answered.