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'Buhari is not a media threat,' Minister says

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said journalists in Nigeria have nothing to fear from the Nigerian government in the performance of their duties.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

Mohammed said this on Sunday, March 20, 2016, at the 2016 Annual Congress of the International Press Institute (IPI) in Doha.

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He said ''Under this dispensation, we have never even contemplated stifling the freedom of the media not to talk of hounding them to death.

''Not a single journalist is in detention in Nigeria today. The government of the day is not a threat to the media, and it is not about to stifle press freedom or deny anyone his or her constitutionally guaranteed rights."

The minister also said he he had taken measures to enhance communication and also reduce suspicion between the government and the media, having identified lack of communication as the major challenge.

Mohammed said ''These (measures) include strengthening the rapport between the government and the media, which I have done by meeting with the major stakeholders in the media industry, and setting up a committee between the media and the security/intelligence agencies to deepen communication and understanding."

Commenting on the role of governments which regularly target journalists for their work, the minister said ''the state which ought to protect life should not be the one to snuff it out.''

Adding that there was a need for capacity building for media practitioners, so as to enhance the performance of their duties.

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