Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Bola Tinubu is product of press freedom but fake news is unacceptable: Information minister

“You cannot report what is wrong and claim you are doing press freedom. That is unacceptable,” said the information minister.

• March 29, 2024
President Bola Tinubu (Credit: Presidency)
President Bola Tinubu (Credit: Presidency)

Information minister Mohammed Idris has reiterated President Bola Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to upholding the principle of press freedom and tasked professionals on responsible journalism.

Mr Idris stated this when he hosted the Centre for Media and Society (CEMESO) senior executives in Abuja.

“While we drive press freedom, we should also carry along with it the responsibility for the media to discharge its duty creditably, honestly, and transparently.

“You cannot report what is wrong and claim you are doing press freedom. That is unacceptable. Press freedom is the cornerstone of a thriving democracy and the government fully recognises the importance of a vibrant media landscape in fostering democracy.

“President Bola Tinubu is a product of press freedom and he cannot in any way stifle press freedom,” Mr Idris said.

According to him, it is wrong to intentionally disseminate misinformation and inflammatory reports aimed at sowing discord and promoting anarchy within the society under the guise of press freedom.

“You cannot report issues with the intention to create disharmony and discontent that will ultimately lead to the breakdown of law and order for our citizens and say you are exercising press freedom,” added the minister.

Mr Idris warned that the biggest victims of disinformation are media professionals, who were at risk of losing public trust, confidence, and credibility.

Responding to a request by the executive director of CEMESO, Akin Akingbulu, to review certain sections of the constitution perceived to be hindering press freedom, the minister assured that he would work with the National Assembly to achieve results.

Mr Idris also promised to work with other stakeholders to promote compliance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act while warning against willful abuse of the Act.

Mr Akingbulu commended the minister for changing the ministry’s narratives since his assumption of office.

He said, “There is now a perception that the narratives coming out of here have changed and that the information sector in Nigeria is on course to a new era, an era of positive developments.”


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