By Joy Odor
The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, FCT Council has enjoined public institutions and those financed with public finances to adhere to the Freedom of Information Act, FoI.
The union made the call on Sunday in Abuja ahead of the 2021 World Press Freedom Day with the theme, “Information as a Public Good.”
In a statement by the Chairman of Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche said the day serves as “a call to affirm the importance of cherishing information as a public good, and exploring what can be done in the production, distribution and reception of content to strengthen journalism, and to advance transparency and empowerment.”
Comrade Ogbeche stressed that the theme is of urgent relevance to Nigeria where information hoarding has become a near-norm even with a legislation that recognizes citizens right to governmental information.
According to him, the danger of not making information available is what has given rise to fake news, disinformation, misinformation and mischief on issues of governance and development.
The NUJ FCT Chairman insisted that when information is readily available, it engenders legitimacy and fuels trust between citizens and those in authority.
He used the occasion to call on journalists to see themselves as channels of credible, verifiable and balanced information aimed at promoting social cohesion, demanding accountability and transparency from those in government and entrenching democratic norms and the rule of law.
Secretary of Council