President Muhammadu Buhari has on Saturday commended the Nigerian media particularly in their role of keeping the public informed during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, the President's Spokesperson, the President restated his commitment to the Nigerian media to mark the 2020 World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated on May 3rd.
According to the Statement with the theme: "Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation."
The president said, "We cannot overemphasize the role of the media in keeping people informed and educated on the pernicious virus, which has no friend or foe."
"It simply seeks to mow down anyone and everyone in its path, and public awareness is very important, lest we become like sitting ducks. The media are doing this quite effectively."
He charged the media further to continue its good work, “till we get to safe harbour, when the world, and our country are finally free of this greatest health challenge in recent history."
Speaking on the unhealthy spread of misinformation, fake news and hate speech using media and other digital and social media platforms, the President said "They don’t mean well for us, and no country can afford to close its eyes to the evil disinformation can cause," the President said.
"In a plural polity like ours, it has the potential to rupture relationships, sow seeds of discord, and set on the path of destabilisation.
"When fake and hate news are added unabashedly, it can only signpost doom.
"I urge the Press to use the occasion of World Press Freedom Day to see how this can be vigorously tackled."
Reiterating his pledge on the Freedom of Press in the Country, President Buhari lauded the media for their never-ending role.
"We appreciate the cooperation we have enjoyed from the media in tackling the coronavirus, and look forward to same, post COVID-19, when all hands must be on deck to repair the damages done to our economic and social lives," he said