Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has called for press freedom in Nigeria, noting that absolute freedom does not exist anywhere.
Diri while stressing the need for press freedom emphasized that the press must be free and open.
The governor while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday during the House of Representatives Press Corps’ Annual Dinner and Award ceremonies, said the importance of a free press in a democracy cannot be overemphasized as it plays a key role in the development process.
In a statement, signed and on Tuesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, he quoted the governor as expressing delight over the development of the Nigerian press over the decades, noting, however, that there was still room for improvement.
The governor thanked the House of Reps Press Corps for his ‘Pride of The House of Representatives Award’, saying it would spur him to do more.
He restated his belief in the unity of Nigeria built on the principles of justice and equity while calling for a reconciliatory mode of governance to right the obvious wrongs that have polarised the country.
“I am happy that my colleagues in the House still recognise our efforts. I am happy that they have their eagle eyes on me and our state and it would spur us to more action.
“I was actually shocked when I saw the level of what we have done recorded by the House of Representatives Press Corps. That is why we always advocate for freedom of the press.
“I believe that this is a great country. I believe in the unity of this country but the proviso is that there must always be justice and equity,” the governor said.
Prior to becoming governor, Diri was a member of the House of Representatives between 2015 and 2019 and was in the Senate from June 2019 to February 13, 2020.