By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The former Director-General Media and Publicity to former Kaduna state governor, Ramalan Yero; Ahmed Maiyaki has said the media is the cornerstone of democracy, but it appears there is growing global conspiracy against it.
He made the assertion at the 2018 World Press Freedom Day organized by Kaduna State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), on Thursday, May 3, 2018.
According to him, media men and women are becoming endangered species as they try to preserved democracy, rule of law and exposed abuses.
“There is a growing intolerance towards the media by the ruling elites in many nations and even in the West. The Fake News “attack” and “assault” largely propelled by President Donald Trump has become another symbolism used by the ruling elites to limit the media from keeping powers in check.
“The globally rated film ‘The Insider’ (1999), did elevate the tremendous power of the media and investigative journalism to check corporate powers and abuses. While the film premiered in 1999, it content has continued to be a source of encouragement for journalists not to give up on investigative journalism,” he said.
“Similarly in Nigeria, there is also a serious concern about the continuous harassments and gang up against journalists by various government and security agencies in the country.
“Several Journalists have been intimidated, arrested and jailed at various times by security agencies and some state governors including some of our colleagues here in Kaduna state within the last few years under El-Rufai’s watch,” he said.
In his own remarks, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to Kaduna State Governor, Mr Samuel Aruwan, urged Journalists in the country to rise up against unethical practice and abuse of media power by some members of the profession who have thrown ethics and decency to the wind.
He said considering the negative consequences of unethical journalism leading to deepening ethno-religious crisis, religious extremism and crises of all kind, it is expedient to tame the monster from consuming the nation.
Aruwan who said he is not an advocate of clamp down on journalists, however said he believes in freedom of press and expression, but Journalists should be cautioned not to prime to be victims of irresponsible journalism being anchored by some narrow-minded practitioners dotted with their hate tendencies and bigotry.
“Journalism must rescued from agents of hate, religious and ethnic extremism, whose only focus is to deepen dichotomies along religious and political lines and tear our unity into pieces and fractions,” he said.
The host, Chairman of NUJ Kaduna State Council, Comrade Adamu Yusuf lamented a situation where some Kaduna state based private media organizations and others based outside the state cannot pay regular monthly salary for up to a year.
This according to him, is unacceptable and the NUJ will soon issue ultimatum to these private media organizations to pay up or face industrial action.