Former labour leader demands Constitutional Protection for Journalists

By Yinka Salaam, Osogbo

Former chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Osun State chapter, Oyebade Olowogboyega has demanded constitutional amendment to give specific roles and more protection to journalists in the society.

Olowogboyega stated this while delivering a paper titled: “Journalists: Endangered Species” at an event organised in state.

The former labour leader frowned at timidity often displayed by many journalists in the course of performing their constitutional roles, because of perceive threats.

He noted that going by the position of Nigeria’s constitution, the mantra that holds journalists as “the 4th estate of the realm” remains an illusion.

Change agents
He said it is curious that the same constitution that assigns specific roles for the legislature in section 4, judiciary in section 5 and the executive organ of government in section 6, failed to assign specific roles to newsmen.

Olowogboyega demanded that roles of pressmen be spelt out in the constitution because media professionals remain indispensable change agents in the society and called for robust protection of journalists to enable them perform their role without fear or favour.

The labour activist also advocated for attractive remuneration and reasonable insurance policy for journalists, because of the risks attached to their jobs.

“Nigeria is not left out in the violence visited on journalists; we have witnessed assassinations of journalists in this country. We have witnessed terror attacks on media houses, there is need to revolutionize the risks of the profession by paying journalists very well including life insurance on all journalists,” Olowogboyega added.

In their separate remarks, former Osun state Head of Service, Elder Segun Akinwusi and a medical practitioner based in Osogbo, Dr. Olalekan Adesokan, urged journalists to live healthy life and pay attention to their health.