The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to promote federal character principle in his second term to give all parts of the country a sense of belonging.
NUJ’s president, Christopher Isiguzo, stated this when he led a delegation of the union to meet with President Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
“We made it clear to him that some of the major challenges that we have had in the past four years, this is an opportunity for him to correct them especially when it comes to the area of inclusiveness, carrying everybody along.
“That is the spirit of the federal character principle that is enshrined in our constitution; that he’s got to carry people along, and of course, we talked about the security problem that we have, not just in the North-east, but even the banditry in the North-west – in Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto,” he said.
The union called for the overhaul of the country’s security architecture to address the insecurity.
“We challenged him to ensure that the security architecture is overhauled to be able to effectively tackle these challenges that we have. We commended him for the fact that as we speak now, there is no part of the country that is under the control of insurgents which is good, unlike when he came on board. But we also told him that it is very important that terrorism is completely stamped out – effectively tackled and not technically degraded,” he said.
In his remarks, President Buhari said he agreed with the union that journalists face significant threats in executing their mandates.
“Please be assured that the security agencies and all instruments will continue to do their very best to protect journalists especially those operating in hostile environments.
“Your profession today is undergoing a fundamental shift. For better or worse, the digital space is now becoming the major outlet for news,” he said.
“I am sure you will all agree that the biggest threat to the sustainability and credibility of your profession is the uncontrolled and unregulated news platforms operating in the cyberspace. This is not only in Nigeria but across the entire globe,” he said.