The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, says all Nigerians, whether in government or as professionals, must rededicate themselves to the protection of democracy.
Mr Gbajabiamila was speaking on in Abuja at the 2021 Press Freedom Awards organised by the national body of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He stated that all Nigerians must see nation-building as a joint task, saying each Nigerian has a critical role to play to achieve the best vision for the country.
The speaker, represented by the Deputy House Leader, Rep. Peter Akpatason, supported the promotion of free press and free expression, noting that these were “fundamental safeguards of our democracy.”
Gbajabiamila added that he backed journalists in practising their profession by holding those in government to account.
“Our highest task, our most pressing ambition for which there are no other alternatives, is the protection of this democracy. If we fail in this regard, nothing else will matter, nothing else we do will count in our favour when the tally of history is settled.
However, he advised that in doing so, journalists must be truly professional by reporting the truth always, as against the growing trend in certain media outfits of reporting falsehoods.
The speaker urged journalists and all Nigerians alike to rededicate themselves to the ideals of democracy, calling for better safeguards for the practice of journalism in the country.
The highlight of the event was the conferment of the award of ‘Distinguished Defender of Free Press’ on the Speaker.