NUJ meets Buhari, wants security architecture reviewed

The Nigeria Union of Journalists has called for a review of the country’s security architecture in order to respond adequately to rising security challenges.

It also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to run an inclusive government in line with the Federal Character Principle as his second term of four years would take off on May 29.

The NUJ made the call on Thursday when the National President, Chris Isiguzo, and other officials paid a visit to Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The union also raised several issues, including threats to freedom of speech and the alleged skewed distribution of key appointments by the Buhari administration since 2015.

Isiguzo spoke with State House correspondents after the meeting, saying that the union officials visited the President to congratulate him on his re-election and to seize the opportunity to speak to Buhari on areas that his new administration needed to improve upon from May 29.

He gave details, “Basically, we have come to congratulate the President on his re-election as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and of course, to also make it clear to him that, to whom so much is given, much more is also expected from him.

“He has gone through the first four years; by May 29, he will be through with that and he has been given yet another mandate to lead Nigeria for another four years.

“We also 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.

Buhari, while responding to the issues raised by the NUJ, promised to “pursue inclusive and transparent policies that will guarantee security and economic safety of every citizen.”

The Presidency, in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying, “As I look to the next four years, I will remain committed to a safe and secure nation; creating an inclusive and diversified economy; and a governance system that is free of corrupt practices.

“In all these areas, we will remain transparent in implementing our policies.’’

The statement, which was signed by presidential spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, said Buhari too raised concerns about the type of journalism practised these days that did not entirely report facts.

He stated further, “Your profession today is undergoing a fundamental shift. For better or worse, the digital space is now becoming the major outlet for ‘news’. This space is difficult to regulate and police. In many instances, the participants in this medium are not trained or professional journalists.

“The stories they present are neither factual nor true. However, through the digital platform, they are able to reach millions and create an alternate reality in their minds.

“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 cyber space.”