By Lanre Adesanya
Concerned about the need to enhance the safety and security of Nigerian Journalists for easy discharge of their constitutional obligations, the Lagos State House of Assembly has called on the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) to ensure veritable life assurance scheme for journalists and to protect them from different hazards of the professions.
Commenting from the background of the 2017 World Press Freedom Day. Hon.Tunde Braimoh, the Chairman, House Committee of Information, Publicity, Strategy and Security, made the appeal in a recent chat with National Daily.
Braimoh, who noted that journalists remained essential kernel in democracy, said that journalists had to be well secured for the protection of the interest of the masses.
According to him, the security of journalists should be guaranteed, saying that there is need for legal protection for journalists.
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“The press plays that role of putting the government in power on its toes. Press freedom is an integral part of the democracy. The press must be allowed to operate without any fair or favour.
“To be able to do anything, safety and security comes first, It is only when you are secured that you can deliver on your mandate. there must be an effective security for press, legal protection for them when their doing the work.
I advise NUJ (Nigerian Union of Journalists) to organise a life assurance scheme for the press which should be backed up and guarantee by the government in the event of eventuality. The journalists are doing great job and must be protect them from victimisation, oppression or reprisal when they step on toes.
“The people that are mighty should not be allowed to silence the press nor manipulate them.”
Braimoh representing Kosofe II at the Assembly commended Nigerian journalists for doing a great job.
“I congratulate with press men and women through out the world on this year’s anniversary. The press is the fourth estate of the realm, it is very important and more particularly important and pertinent in Nigeria because there is hardly a vibrant opposition.
‘When a government is in power, the opposition almost goes on oblivion, and opposition does not keep the government in power in check. Opposition is very key in democracy but here, we only cherish the power, we don’t cherish those who put government in power in check, whereas, power corrupt and absolute power corrupt absolutely.
“So, the press play that role and put the government in power on their toes. Press freedom is sinequanon, essential, unavoidable and a very kernel part of the democracy. Press must be allowed to do their jobs and continue to serve as the conscience of democracy and the voice of the common man,” he said.