World Press Freedom day.

 

It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press

freedom, and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide. It serves as a

reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to

press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals

about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly,

World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom.

 

 

It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in

the exercise of their profession. Even though Nigeria, after almost a

decade, now has the Freedom of Information Act, last month,  April 4,

judiciary correspondents attached to the Ikeja division of the state High Court  were arrested and beaten up mercilessly on the orders of a

magistrate for allegedly flouting her directive not to report proceedings in her court.

 

In Nigeria, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) uploaded its message only on May

3. The You Tube videos were about significance of the World Press

Freedom Day, Freedom of Information; Media Freedom in Nigeria; Safety

of Journalists; and the need for citizens to see attacks on journalists and media houses as attack on their rights to be informed and to rise and fight

for media Freedom.

 

Today, attack on the media has become more murderous. Reporters are

attacked and killed with impunity. Magistrates beat up and jail journalists at will, and terrorists bomb and threaten media houses at will.  On World

Press Freedom Day,  in Nigeria, the various press groups expected to

champion the rights of journalists simply forgot it. The Minister of

Information did not say a word about it. Yet, it is an axiom that a free

country needs a free press.

 

However, Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights

states that everyone “has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;

this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to

seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and

regardless of frontiers”. Bombing, killigs, reprssion of any form is not part

of that.

Rasheed Yekini’s Neighbours Alleged Foul Play

It is no news that Rasheed Yekini is dead but there is something that is news

worthy after the death of the African legend who was and still is the the goal

machine for Nigeria National Football team.

 

 

Yekini’s neighbours disputed claims that he was mad. One of the people who

shared fences with him said “if he was mad, he would not go and engage a

labourer to cut the grass in front of his compound when it is due, a mad man

will not put on his generator to watch European Champions League games and

how would a mad man drive a car and go to the stadium to do exercise?

Someone who is mad will definitely not be able to coordinate such activities.”

 
It was gathered that he was last seen at home on Easter Day. Some of his

neighbours say they suspect foul play because his family members who he

never really trusted were the ones that came to take him away that day. Some

of them told Street Journal that they didn’t allow him to know they were

coming and they waited quietly in the neighbourhood. Immediately he drove

in and was about to open the gate, he saw them and before he could ask what

they wanted, they charged at him and put restraints on his legs. “We were

wondering what was going on because the guy wasn’t crazy, he was sound, at

least he could coordinate his activities, so why bind him under the guise of

taking him for treatment? I think there is more to it. He was even crying for

help that day begging that people should not allow them to take him away. I

think a post mortem examination should be conducted to determine the actual

cause of his death,” one of Yekini’s neighbours said.