Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that Nigerians will be at a disadvantage if the country disintegrates.
He made the comment, during his reception of the National Executive of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), on Monday, at the presidential villa in Abuja.
The head of the NUJ delegation to the presidential villa was Chris Isiguzo, the President of the union.
In a statement by the Vice President’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande,, Osinbajo noted that it is necessary to promote the message of unity in the country, and urged journalists to be professional in carrying out their duties.
“This country is ours, whether we are press, politicians or religious people. The country is ours, and we must do everything to ensure that the country remains safe, secure, and united, and this so important,” he was quoted as saying.
“I thank you for your civic vigilance, for the very kind words you have spoken about Nigeria, and for remaining steadfast in your belief for the rule of law and press freedom in the country.
“As I keep saying, the elite in our country, those of us who have had the benefit of education, positions and all of that, we owe millions of our people who are poor, who have no access and have no voice, a duty to ensure that we don’t let things become worse for them.
“There are so many countries faced with a national challenge and where you have people who are prepared to subvert the entire republic, the press works actively with government to ensure that the information space is protected in such a way that people who want to subvert the republic are not allowed to do so.
“But I think it is important, because your voices as respected members of the fourth estate of the realm, your voices are very important in moderating the kinds of views that we hear constantly which in the end, (if care is not taken) subverts the polity.
“So, I will urge that we should as much as possible do whatever we can in our spaces that we occupy to keep emphasising that we cannot afford a situation where the national unity of this country is compromised, or where the country is made the theater of conflict and all sorts of insurgencies and crimes.”
According to Akande, the NUJ President Isiguzo, in his remark condemned the spread of fake news, and advised his colleagues in the media to always verify information.
He also sought “bailout fund” support for the media sector from the federal government to prevent job losses.
Other members of the delegation include; Mukhtar Gidado, NUJ deputy president; Shuaibu Leman, NUJ national secretary; Ladi Bala, president of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ); Emmanuel Ogbeche, NUJ FCT chairman, among others.