The students of Mass Communication Department of the school had a symposium.
By Ola’ Audu
The denial of access to journalists to visit Baga Town to report alleged cases of extra-judicial killings and destruction by the Multinational Joint Task Force troops is a classical abuse of press freedom, speakers celebrating World Press Freedom Day at the University of Maiduguri said.
Delivering a speech at the 20th Press Freedom Day organised by the Mass Communication Students Association (MACOSSA), a senior lecturer of the department, Abubakar Muazu, said with the way security forces treat journalists, the issue of press freedom still remains a long shot in Nigeria.
”Journalists, both local and international were just recently not allowed to go to Baga Town where hundreds of people were said to have been killed and houses burnt in their thousands,” said Muazu.
”It took the Human Right Watch an extra effort of beaming a satellite photographs of Baga before the world could see what happened there.”
’These are of course clear cases of lack of freedom of the press here in Nigeria,” said Dr. Muazu who noted that this year’s theme; “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media” does not only seek freedom for journalists but every other social media platforms.
The Head of Department, Dr. Muhammed Gujbawu, commended the students association for keeping faith with the annual event even as he noted that there cannot be a free society without a free press.
The association’s president, Hauwa Adamu, said the students had had a week long event to mark the 3rd March Press Freedom Day with debate competition, cultural shows, and visitations.
The department has since 2011 made it a duty to join mainstream journalists in marking the auspicious day as a strategy of opening the minds of the would-be journalists to understand better the future challenges that await them in the field.
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