Former President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday asked the Nigerian media practitioners how they had fared with be usage of the Freedom of Information Act (FO1A), which was enacted 10 years ago.
The FOIA was enacted in 2011 to bequeath the media with the abiding freedom required to practice and an unfettered access to information in the public interest.
Speaking in Abuja shortly after he bagged the Blueprint newspaper’s Icon of Democracy in Africa award, Jonathan called on the media practitioners to use the act to fight fake news.
Represented by the former Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolemenen, the former president also tasked them to promote patriotism and national pride in view of the current security challenges in the country.
“I recall that in May 2011, my administration enacted the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in order to bequeath the media with the abiding freedom required for this onerous duty, give the people unfettered access to information of public interest.
“The year 2021 makes it one decade since that landmark law was enacted. It will be interesting to see how far that piece of legislation has impacted on general reporting, development of journalism and national leadership.
“The media should therefore guide the crusade to checkmate the spread of false information which obviously does more harm than good in the society.
“On this score, I believe mainstream media has even greater responsibilities now, especially at this time of worsening insecurity and ethnic tension, to promote patriotism and national pride.
“The media should be deliberate, constructive and exercise the kind of restraint that should promote unity, peace and sustainable development,” he said.