The Presidency has assured that Muhammadu Buhari administration would not muzzle the media.
Presidential Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, gave the assurance on Thursday while speaking at the First Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, held at Renaissance Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Mr. Adesina said Mr. Buhari administration remained committed to press freedom, and therefore not interested in gagging the media.
He however said he expected the Nigerian media to be responsible and to only engage in constructive criticism of government activities.
“This government is not interested in muzzling the media in anyway,” Mr. Adesina said. “We are committed to freedom of speech.
” Media should be positively critical, media should be responsible.
“Count this government out of muzzling the media.”
The presidential spokesperson told the gathering that he had been part of GOCOP from inception because members of the Guild are credible professionals that all stakeholders must identify with.
According to him, ” When you see responsible organisation like GOCOP, we all must support them.
“I identify with GOCOP because I know it has what it takes to do the right thing. I have been a part of GOCOP from the beginning,” Mr. Adesina said.
In his welcome address, the outgoing President of GOCOP, Musikilu Mojeed, traced the history of the Guild, saying it has consistently engaged in peer-reviewing its member to ensure they stayed on the path of professionalism.
He noted that the number of online news platforms has ballooned in the last few years, stressing the need to protect the cyber space by setting stringent conditions for online publishers to join GOCOP.
Mr. Mojeed, editor-in-chief at PREMIUM TIMES, expressed the readiness of the Guild to partner with relevant government agencies to sanitize online media practice.
“We are ready to name and shame any member who engages in misconduct,” he told the gathering.
However, he pointedly said the Guild would not welcome any attempt by the government to muzzle or gag the online platforms in any guise.
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