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Media must hold govt accountable, any attempt to gag journalists will fail – Reuben Abati

Reuben Abati
Media must hold govt accountable any attempt to gag journalists will fail – Reuben Abati

Veteran journalist and former presidential spokesman Reuben Abati has said the media is duty-bound to hold the government accountable, emphasizing that it is “a duty which is guided by law and every attempt to gag journalists will not succeed.”

Speaking in the latest episode of the Interviewing The Interviewer series hosted by his wife, an ace broadcaster, Kikelomo Atanda-Owo, Abati noted that “the character of the Nigerian media has been a crusading media, defending the rights of the people, fighting for the people.”

He said it reached a turning point in 1992 when the Babangida administration introduced the deregulation of the broadcast medium, which saw an explosion in the number of radio and television stations in the country, adding that the media has been very consistent, as witnessed during the June 12 struggle.

“The duty of the journalist is to call the people in power to order and that’s guaranteed under Section 22 of the 1999 constitution, our job is to hold them accountable as further enshrined under section 39 of the 1999 constitution and we’re also guided by ethics as defined by the Nigerian Press Organisation to say we have to be objective, fair, accurate and act in public interest,” Abati said.

He said history has shown that “everyone who has tried to gag or kill journalists have invariably failed and that’s why journalists must be courageous and its why i encourage journalists to try to be knowledgeable.”

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