Freedom of the press is essential for the development of democracy, says Obaseki

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki said freedom of the press and freedom of speech are essential for the development of democracy, noting that the state government has suppressed sedition of the new state criminal law.

Obaseki, who was represented by Communication and Orientation Commissioner Adaze Enwanta, spoke on Friday at the official opening of Super FM in Benin.

He said it was clear that people listen to radio and TV stations to find out what the government is doing because the government is closest to them.

The governor said: “For us as a government, democratic freedoms are the most important part of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

“It is clear that people listen to radio and television stations because they want to know what the government is doing.

“So, in order to respect the opinion of the people, we have taken deliberate measures.

“Just recently, the Edo State Executive Council reviewed the new criminal law and we repealed the sedition provision to allow freedom of speech so that the journalist can express his opinions through reporting without fear or aggression.

“Journalists occupy a very important place in our society. You also have a duty to the public and I have to commend Super FM because that’s exactly what you do.

“The state government will work with your station and I hope we get our own broadcast regulator as stipulated in the constitution to regulate what you do instead of being tied to the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation .”

The station’s general manager, Yemi Akinwunmi, said the company’s mission and vision statements aim to improve the individual and society.

She added, “As Super FM continues to grow with new branches popping up across the country, we have one consistent mission and vision statements. Our corporate mission and vision statements reflect the betterment of the individual and the whole of human society.

“Rightly, our corporate objective is impact and profitability. Thus, Super 88.1 FM, Benin City, through our strategic, engaging and professionally delivered content, will vigorously and diligently implement our mission and decision statements with the utmost respect for government, regulations, the corporate sector and the good people of Edo State will pursue our corporate goals.

“I hereby appeal for the support and understanding of all key stakeholders, just as we also pledge to play our part in building an equal society.”

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