ON THE 2023 WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY Today, Monday, May 8, 2023, the Director, Center for Human Rights and Accountability Network (CHRAN), Otuekong Franklyn Isong led members of the human rights community in Akwa Ibom to participate and delivered a Goodwill Message on behalf of the human rights community in Akwa Ibom State at the 2023 World Press Freedom Day with the theme: “SHAPING A FUTURE OF RIGHTS: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AS A DRIVER FOR ALL OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS,” organized by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), at the NUJ Press Centre, Uyo.

The event which was chaired by the Member representing Etinan/Nsit Ubium/Nsit Ibom Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, the Keynote Address delivered by Prof. Umaru Pate.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Obong Umana Okon Umana; the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong; and the Chairperson of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Sunny James, delivered goodwill messages.

The Panel discussion led by Prof. Peter Esuh, had Prof. Mbuk Mboho and Prof. Des Wilson.

1. Let me on behalf of the human rights community in Akwa Ibom State congratulate the leadership and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on this occasion of the 2023 World Press Freedom Day.

2. The theme of this year’s event: “SHAPING A FUTURE OF RIGHTS: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AS A DRIVER FOR ALL OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS is apt, because it is coming after the 2023 General Elections and few days to the swearing in of a new administration in Nigeria and in the federating states of Nigeria with Akwa Ibom inclusive.

3. The human rights community in Akwa Ibom wishes to commend the leadership of NUJ under Comrade Amos Etuk for making our advocacy for free press easier by;

a) ensuring that members of the union are frequently trained and retrained on ethical conduct and reportage;

b) engaging security agencies in the State;

c) maintaining cordial working relationship with the Government of Akwa Ibom State while encouraging its members to exercise the constitutional role of holding the government and public office holders accountable to the people;

d) NUJ disciplinary committee:- this is another important factor that has contributed to the ethical behaviour of members of the Union. Comrade Amos Etuk set up the committee chaired by a former State Chairman of the Union, Comrade Joseph Effiong. The Committee has been up and doing by putting the neccessary checks and balances on the members of the Union.

e) instituting NUJ Annual Awards for deserving journalists in the State which promotes balanced reportage from its members.

f) being accountable to members of the Union which I am an active member.

g) Once again, congratulations to all of us!

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