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Sanwo-Olu cautions politicians, others against gagging the media

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor has stressed the need for press freedom for democratic growth, urging Nigerian politicians not to stifle the media in the country.

Sanwo-Olu made this assertion on Thursday during a workshop organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and themed: “Journalist and digitalisation: the imperative of good corporate governance” at Ikeja, Lagos State.

Sanwo-Olu emphasized the urgency of good corporate governance and self-regulation of the digital space as a means to deal with the endemic flow of fake news.

The governor reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to ensuring press freedom and tasked media practitioners to regulate their activities in the digital environment.

Sanwo-Olu said: “I stand with you (media practitioners) in solidarity to say that, indeed, your profession is not just a noble one, but it’s the one that gives the general public an independent assessment, holding our governance and government accountable at all times. And so, we need to be very careful as politicians and public officers that we do not gag this profession (media) and do not unduly stifle free press.

Read also: Sanwo-Olu, others may suffer same fate as Oyetola unless… —APC Chieftain, Nabena

“Our government understands and appreciates that press freedom is the way in which we can hold government accountable. But it is also the responsibility of all of us here to ensure that we understand the thin line; and also self-regulate our activities.

“Based on my view about corporate governance, it is also to ensure that in the digital space, we eradicate completely within the profession, false news and fake news. People sometimes rush to post something without doing proper due diligence to verify what they are posting and ask themselves what damage would they do if they found out what they posted is not completely true.

“You must be a bit more circumspect and know that once information is out there, you cannot retrieve it. That in itself puts a lot of professional pressure on whoever is posting any report. I have enjoyed working with all of you and I am looking forward to enjoying more in the remaining part of my four years tenure.”

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