Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says the media will always be a friend and partner of the current administration whether it reports nicely or not.
Osinbajo said this at a dinner organised by the state house communications team for head of media practitioners in Abuja on Thursday night.
The vice-president urged the media to tackle the spread of fake news adding that Nigerians were made to believe a “lie” about President Muhammadu Buhari’s certificate for so long.
“I want to say how very thankful I am, for all the support we get every day from the press and to say that for good and for ill at all times, whether you report nicely or not so nicely, you will always be friends and partners,” he said.
“Because nobody bothered to find out or didn’t want to find out, the public believed a lie for so long even after the President had brought his certificate form Cambridge West African School.
“So, with the anonymity of social media, every day the problems of a free Press are becoming more and more complex and even more dangerous.”
He also shared an experience of how there were false reports that he had resigned, narrating how someone confronted him over it.
Also speaking, Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), said the current administration has laid a solid foundation for Nigeria’s economic development.
“We have run a government that is accountable to the public by all standards,” he said.
“To our media partners, I want to stress that in the determination of this administration to place Nigeria on the path of rapid growth and sustainable development, we will always count on your role as the watchdog of the society, partners in progress, and the conscience of the nation.”
Speaking on behalf of heads of media organisations, Osita Okechukwu, director-general of Voice of Nigeria (VON), said the event is a pointer that the Buhari administration recognises the role the media is playing in developing the country.
“We have been appreciated here on three or four counts but let me mention only two; that the federal government of Nigeria, under President Muhammadu Buhari had underscored that we were one of the builders of the democracy in which we are today,” Okechukwu said.
“This is a testimony that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government recognizes the immense role the Nigerian media is playing in the development of this country.”