ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has supported the need for press freedom in the country.
He expressed delight over the development of the Nigerian media over the decades.
Diri made the assertion in Abuja during the House of Representatives Press Corps’ Annual Dinner and Award ceremonies, a statement by his media aide, Daniel Alabrah, said on Tuesday.
The governor said the significance of a free press in a democracy could not be downplayed as it plays a pivotal role in the development process.
He noted, however, that there was still room for improvement.
He thanked the House of Reps Press Corps for his “Pride of the House of Representatives, Award”, saying it would spur him to do more.
Diri restated his belief in the unity of Nigeria built on the principles of justice and equity.
He called for a reconciliatory mode of governance to right the obvious wrongs that have polarised the country..
He said: “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. There is nowhere there is absolute freedom but we must allow the press to be free and open.
“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.”
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.