Media Rights Agenda urges President Tinubu to ensure journalists’ safety

In an era where journalism plays a vital role in holding the powerful accountable and keeping the public informed, safeguarding the rights and safety of journalists is of paramount importance. Recently, Media Rights Agenda, a prominent advocacy organization focused on media freedom and freedom of expression in Nigeria, has taken a bold step by urging President Tinubu to prioritize and ensure the safety of journalists in the country. This plea reflects the organization’s unwavering commitment to defending media freedom and the critical role journalists play in a thriving democracy.

Journalism is often referred to as the fourth estate, an indispensable pillar of any democratic society. In Nigeria, as in many other countries, journalists play a vital role in scrutinizing the government, reporting on critical issues, and providing the public with access to information that is essential for making informed decisions.

However, the practice of journalism in Nigeria is not without challenges. Journalists often face a range of obstacles, including threats, harassment, and violence. Such challenges not only endanger the lives and well-being of journalists but also have a chilling effect on freedom of the press, limiting the public’s right to know.

Media Rights Agenda (MRA) is a non-governmental organization that has consistently championed press freedom and the protection of media rights in Nigeria. MRA has become a leading voice in advocating for freedom of expression and access to information. The organization’s work is grounded in the belief that a robust, independent media is essential for a functioning democracy.

The organisation noted that it is now 10 years since the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed November 2 of every year as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

The Media Rights Agenda, MRA, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to make a clear commitment to ensure the safety of journalists in Nigeria and bring an end to impunity for crimes against journalists.

It is also calling on President Tinubu to ensure that government officials and non-state actors who attack journalists are appropriately punished in accordance with the law.

MRA’s Executive Director, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, said: “On the occasion of this year’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, we remain extremely concerned that in spite of numerous and frequently recurring cases of attacks against journalists in Nigeria, with at least 19 journalists killed over the years, no one has ever been charged with any crime for such attacks or punished for such offenses, with the result that Nigeria appears to be suggesting that attacking or killing journalists is acceptable and will attract no consequences.”

The organization noted that it is now 10 years since the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed November 2 of every year as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists by Resolution 68/163 on “The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity,”, which it adopted on December 18, 2013 at its 68th session.

It explained that in the resolution, the UN General Assembly urged all Member States, including Nigeria;

“To do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, to ensure accountability through the conduct of impartial, speedy, and effective investigations into all alleged violence against journalists and media workers falling within their jurisdiction, and to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies.”

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