by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
A former Presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections and business mogul, Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has felicitated with journalists on the celebration of World Press Freedom Day.
Mr Hashim used the opportunity and called for support for media practitioners in Nigeria and across the world, who have over the years continued to “weather the storm” in the course of their daily reportage.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Hassan Ibrahim, on Monday, Olawepo-Hashim said the day was also to remember those brave journalists, who lost their lives in the course of duty.
“Today is the 3rd of May. It is a special day for journalists and lovers of press freedom worldwide; a day set aside by the UN to act as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.
“Importantly, it’s a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.
“As I join others to felicitate with journalists on this great day, I sincerely call for support for media practitioners in Nigeria and across the world, who have over the years, continued to weather the storm in the course of their daily reportage. Today, I also remember those brave journalists, who lost their lives in the course of duty.
“I pay tribute to great journalists like Dele Giwa, Bagauda Kaltho and others, who died in the exercise of their profession, and call on governments to uphold the fundamental principles of press freedom and defend the media from attacks.
“I appreciate this year’s theme of the International Press Day, ‘Information as a Public Good.’ Truly, it would serve as a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, looking for ways to strengthen journalism and promote transparency.
“The theme is of relevance to all countries of the world. I agree it recognizes the changing communications system that is impacting on our health, our human rights, democracies and sustainable development.
“I, therefore, align myself with the call on all for the renewal of commitment to the fundamental right to freedom of expression, for the defence of working journalists and for the society to continue having access to many sources of news and information,” he said.