Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has expressed that the Nigerian media is “bullying” the government.
The minister spoke on Tuesday at a session of the Nigerian Economic Summit on the topic: ‘Fourth Estate: Holding Power Accountable’.
Speaking at the event, he described the Nigerian media as one of the most vibrant in the world, adding that the government is contending with its “endless bullying”.
“Let me start by saying that the media is indispensable in building a virile democracy, especially by holding power accountable,” he said.
“This much was recognised by the framers of our constitution, in which the role of the media is unambiguous. Section 22 of the 1999 constitution is clear on this role: ‘The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media to, at all time, be free to uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.
“The watchdog role of the media is globally acknowledged, more so in the advanced democracies. The Nigerian press has a rich history of holding power accountable. This is not a surprise, considering that the Nigerian press is one of the most vibrant in the world. Yes, I didn’t say that as a joke! Our experience as a government confirms this assertion.
“Whereas in many countries, the press is worried about being bullied by the government, here in Nigeria, it is the government that has to contend with endless bullying by the press.”