From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) Kaduna State Council has called on the 6th Kaduna State House of Assembly to as a matter of urgency, pass the freedom of information bill within their first 100 days in office.
The chairman of the NUJ Kaduna Council, Comrade Adamu Yusuf made the call while delivering his welcome address at the Maiden Democracy Day Lecture/Awards held at the Arewa House in Kaduna on Wednesday.
“I want to use this avenue to call on the 9th Kaduna State House of Assembly to as a matter of urgency pass freedom of information bill into law within their hundred days in office. The bill already passed into the second reading,” he said.
He lamented that for decades, NUJ members have suffered different forms of Persecution, Oppression and Incarceration.
“Some of our dearest colleagues were brutally killed, like late Dele Giwa and Bagauda Kaltho (of Blessed memory). Some were imprisoned and tortured all in the cause of depending truth and Justice,” he said.
Comrade Yusuf said that NUJ hopes that sincerely Wednesday’s Democracy Day June 12 will open-up new frontiers for better elections, free of corruption and other malpractices.
“May i use this opportunity on behalf of all members of Nigeria Union
of Journalists to welcome our guest to this important gathering.
“Today is officially declared as democracy day to commemorate the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.
“May 29 was initially the official democracy day in Nigeria, marking when the newly elected Olusegun Obasanjo took over as the President of Nigeria in 1999, ending multiple decades of military rule that began in 1966 and had been interrupted only by a brief period of democracy from 1979 to 1983.
“On June 6, 2018, eight days after May, 29, 2018 had been celebrated as democracy day; the President Buhari led Federal Government of Nigeria declared June 12, to be the new Democracy Day.
“This was done to commemorate the democratic election of MKO Abiola on June 12, 1993, in what has been adjudged to be Nigeria’s freest and fairest elections ever. It was, however, cancelled by Former Military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida administration.
“At NUJ-Kaduna and the National body, the declaration of June 12 as democracy day is a wonderful things that ever happen to democracy in Nigeria.
It’s a unique day in the history of our noble profession despite all odds journalists play important roles for the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria and the successful declaration of June 12 by the Federal Government.
“Indeed, NUJ is about Truth and Standing by it, no matter whose ox is gored. Our great Father and Doyen of Northern Journalism Late Alhaji Abubakar Imam, the pioneer Editor of GASKIYA-TA-FI KWABO Newspaper said Always speak and write what is True and factual, No matter the consequences!”
“Indeed, that is why we have Ethics and Disciplinary Committee. We fight oppression, even within ourselves; nobody is above justice of our PEN and INK,” he said.
He saluted the special guests, media executives for accepting their invitation on a very short notice.
“For specific mention, we commend our esteemed stakeholders and awardees for accepting the honor. We salute the courage and professionalism of our members who remained a formidable force and guide for all our efforts,” he said.