By GWG Staff
President Muhammadu Buhari in his 3,648 word Democracy Day speech showed himself to be on top of the situation in the country speaking on trending issues including the incidents of rape in the country which he vowed to deal with.
He was also remorseful about the recent killings in the country saying that the security agencies were determined to fight back.
However, as he ended the speech, just about the 36th minute, the president with a seeming grin spoke of the government’s relationship with the press.
For a president that has won a reputation as the most unfriendly to the press, he went out of his way to praise the press pledging to guarantee press freedom in the country.
“I will also like to convey our deep appreciation to members of the Press for your doggedness in the struggle for attainment of democracy since the beginning of our nationhood.
“I must admit that the relationship between the media and successive governments has not always been perfect. But there is no denying the fact that you have been an effective watchdog for the society especially in holding public officers to account. It is sad that in the course of securing our democracy, some of your colleagues have had to pay a heavy price.
“We will continue to guarantee freedom of the Press as we place high premium on responsible journalism that is devoid of hate speech, fake news and other unethical professional conduct.”
The last time Buhari apparently spoke about the press to this extent was in his 1984 interview with the quartet of Dele Giwa, Yakubu Mohammed, Dele Agbese and Ray Ekpu.
Then, he vowed to curtail press freedom and true to his words curbed press freedom with Decree Four climaxing with the jailing of Nduka Irabor and Tunde Thompson.
This time around, the president has vowed to guarantee press freedom!