A lawmaker in Lagos State, Mr Tunde Braimoh, on Wednesday reiterated that journalists must be allowed to operate without fear or favour, as they had a role of keeping the government on its toes.
Braimoh, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Publicity, Strategy, and Security spoke in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on the celebration of the 2017 World Press Freedom Day.
He said that journalists had a vital role to play in a democracy and had to given the right environment to perform their duties in the society.
“The press plays that role of putting the government in power on its toes. Press freedom is an integral part of democracy. The press must be allowed to operate without any fear or favour.
“To be able to do anything, safety and security comes first; it is only when you are secured that you can deliver on your mandate. There must be effective security for the press and legal protection for them when doing their work,” Braimoh said.
He advised the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to organise a life assurance scheme for its members, which should be backed up and guaranteed by the government in the event of eventuality.
“The journalists are doing a great job and must be protected from victimisation, oppression or reprisal when they step on toes.
“The people that are mighty should not be allowed to silence the press or manipulate them,” the lawmaker said.
Braimoh, an All Progressives Congress member who represents Kosofe II in the Lagos House of Assembly, congratulated journalists on the commemoration of World Press Freedom Day.
He said that the media, the fourth estate of the realm, must continue to serve as the conscience of democracy and the voice of the common man.
Journalist reports that May 3 is set aside globally to celebrate the World Press Freedom.