Journalists across the African continent have been advised to be more proactive, persevere and professional while discharging their duties.
This advice was given at the Colloquium convened by the Lagos state chapter of the Nigeria Union of journalists NUJ, in conjunction with Dele Giwa foundation to mark the 30th anniversary of the assassination of renowned journalist, Dele Giwa.
The speaker at the event, Barrister Femi Falana, while speaking on the theme;‘safety of journalists and the culture of impunity in Africa’, bemoaned the bizarre circumstances surrounding the gruesome assassination of some journalists. He dwelled more on lack of safety and security for media men and women in Africa.
Barrister Falana said journalists must not fail to realise that, with commitment and perseverance, struggle for human rights, political freedom and economic development would be secured.
He advised journalists to defend the press freedom in Nigeria and stand firm and go against impunity with which the Nigerian security forces have recently attacked the press is reminiscent of Nigeria’s darkest days of military rule.
“In order to halt the killings, attacks and kidnapping of journalists, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights has appealed to the member States of the African Union to fulfil their obligations of preventing and investigating crimes against journalists as well as bringing the perpetrators to justice,” he said.
In his remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Hon. Sani Zorro commended the vibrancy and resourcefulness of the Lagos state chapter of the NUJ.
Hon. Zorro who was former Chairman of Lagos State NUJ said the political system has particularly undermine the evolution and role of the media in the country, and that the media has not been canvassed as it used to be.
Post humours honour
He appealed to the Nigerian government to have a post humours honour for Dele Giwa to recognise that he was a hero.
“I promise to sponsor a bill that will declassify official records that has taken time in the late and recent times,” Hon Zorro stated.
Earlier, the chairman Lagos state chapter of the NUJ, Mr. Deji Elumoye, appreciated the prospective media houses and their efforts to making the event a success and reality.
He promised to pursue the course that impunity on Nigerian journalists has no base and freedom of information is established.
The event was graced with many dignitaries and they include; second vice president, Nigerian Bar Association, Barrister Monday Ubani, Barrister Malachy Amadi, Lagos state Commissioner of police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, Dele Giwa’s families, Dele Giwa’s friend and associates, among others.