Lawmaker cautions journalists on abuse of Freedom of Information Bill

Nigerian Union of Journalists
Nigerian Union of Journalists

Abiodun Akinlade said that media practitioners should guard jealously the opportunity offered by the FOI law.

A federal lawmaker, Abiodun Akinlade, has cautioned journalists against the abuse of the provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) law in the country.

Mr. Akinlade, gave the advice in Abeokuta at the commissioning of a motorised borehole project he donated to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ogun State Council.

He noted that the media represents the conscience of the nation, hence, media practitioners should guard jealously the opportunity offered by the FOI law.

“In Nigeria today, the media has a lot of role to play. And I will advise my brothers in the media to do more of investigative journalism and balanced reporting. That’s what can take this country to the next level. We should report things the way they are,” he stated.

“The National Assembly passed the Freedom of Information bill which now gives the media free access information. We should guard this opportunity jealously,” the lawmaker emphasised

Mr. Akinlade, an Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) member representing Egbado South/Ipokia Federal Constituency, said that the media had a great role to play in deepening good governance and advancing democratic ideals in the nation.

He described the borehole project as a fulfillment of his promise to the body of journalists in the state and equally vowed not to relent in pursuing programmes that would benefit and uplift the critical sectors of the society.

Earlier in his welcome speech, the state NUJ Chairman, Wole Shokunbi, expressed satisfaction with the National Assembly over the passage of the Freedom of Information Act.

Mr. Shokunbi assured that the NUJ will not engage in partisan politics. He, however, stated that the union would work with individuals and groups willing to contribute to the growth and development of the pen profession.

Mr. Shokunbi enjoined political office holders, well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies to emulate the donor of the borehole project.

He also urged journalists in the state to key into the insurance policy of the NUJ National Secretariat “to ensure our safety on the job.”

The NUJ boss appealed to the state government to commence the immediate payment of 22 per cent upward review of weigh-in allowance to journalists in the state-owned media, Ministry of Information and other affiliated organisations.

“The current exco will not relent in its efforts in ensuring the growth and development of our members through the union’s capacity-building drive,” he said.

“I want to assure you that the construction of journalists’ estate and a new secretariat at Abiola Way, Abeokuta, remain a top priority of the current executive,” Mr. Shokunbi emphasised.

Dignitaries at the event include former zonal secretary of NUJ, Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji; former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Tunde Alabi; former chairman, Neuropsychiatry Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Iyabo Apampa; and former Chief Press Secretary in Ogun State, Kayode Odunaro.

Also in attendance were serving and former members of the Ogun State House of Assembly, including Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo, Joseph Adegbesan, Olufemi Allen-Taylor, Abiodun Akovoyon, Elizabeth Anifowose, Wale Alausa, Akeem Salami and Leye Odunjo.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker also donated an 18-seater brand new bus to the state council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

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