National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has assured Nigerians of their promotion and protection of their fundamental human rights including right to freedom of expression and the press in all circumstances.

In a statement marking the 2024 World Press Freedom Day, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Dr Tony Ojukwu (SAN) reaffirmed the commitment of the Commission to safeguarding press freedom as a fundamental human right and the cornerstone of any democracy.

The NHRC premised its assurance on the provisions of the National Human Rights Commission’s Act 1995 (as amended), wherein the Commission is mandated to deal with all matters relating to the promotion and protection of human rights guaranteed by all the Constitution of Nigeria and human rights legal instruments to which Nigeria is a party.

The Executive Secretary highlighted the crucial role played by journalists in birthing and defending democracy, projecting government’s policies, providing critical information that benefits the masses and even holding government accountable for its responsibilities.

Ojukwu, however, noted that journalists in Nigeria face numerous challenges ranging from, intimidations, unlawful arrests attacks and even deaths and added that, the unfortunate incidents undermine the journalists’ ability to carry out their work effectively.

He added that the 2024 theme for World Press Freedom Day “A Press for the Planet: Journalists in the Face of the Environmental Crisis” is apt, as it seeks to drive the fact that journalists and the media work tirelessly for the survival of the earth and where the earth is on environmental crisis, journalists also face environmental crisis and must see how they can contribute to resolving the environmental crisis in which they work.

“I wish to use the opportunity of this important day to call on all stakeholders to join hands with the Commission in the fight to protect and promote press freedom in Nigeria” Ojukwu stated.

World Press Freedom Day is celebrated annually every May 3rd.