Politics

Buhari Govt At Mercy Of Media Who Refer To President As Dictator, Lai Mohammed Cries Out

Buhari Govt At Mercy Of Media Who Refer To President As Dictator, Lai Mohammed Cries Out

Lai Mohammed says Buhari Govt At Mercy Of Media Who Refer To President As Dictator

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says President Muhammadu Buhari remains a repentant democrat, notwithstanding Nigerian journalists depiction of him as a dictator.

Mr Mohammed spoke on Tuesday in Abuja when a delegation from International Press Institute (IPI) Nigeria chapter paid him a courtesy visit.

He said Nigeria had one of the most vibrant and free press globally, and the administration was not about to stifle press freedom or deny anyone his or her constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

Buhari Govt

“If anything, it is the government that is at the mercy of the media.

“After all, this must be one of the very few countries where a section of the media can refuse to recognise popular sovereignty.

“How does one describe a situation in which a president who was duly elected by millions of Nigeria is wilfully stripped of that title, president, and then cheekily cloaked in the garb of a dictator by playing up his military title?” he said.

The minister said that despite addressing Mr Buhari as a dictator, years after his military rule, journalists have freedom in the country.

“Despite that abuse of press freedom, those doing that have continued to practice their profession without hindrance,” he said.

Mr Mohammed said he was delighted that serious organisations such as IPI were taking the issues of not just press freedom but also ethics and fake news, among others, very seriously.

He charged the institute to take a holistic look at the issues concerning ethics, regulation, sustainability, credibility and fake news.

The minister noted that some people had misconstrued their efforts to ensure responsible use of social media as an attempt to tamper with press freedom or threaten independent journalism.

He reassured the current administration did not harbour such intentions to stifle press freedom.

(NAN)

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