Michel Arrion, Ambassador and Head of European Delegation to Nigeria, has commended the country for running the most vibrant democracy in Africa with absolute press freedom.
This statement was made by the Ambassador at the 2016 World Press Freedom Day celebration held in Abuja, with the theme: “Access to information and fundamental freedom: This is your right.”
Arrion described the press freedom in Nigeria as an asset, adding that freedom of opinion and expression was essential in enjoying a wide range of other human rights.
Arion said the EU recognised that free, diverse, independent media were essential for the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression.
“By facilitating the free flow of information and ideas on matters of public interest, and by ensuring transparency and accountability, independent media constitute one of the cornerstones of democracy. “An informed, active and engaged citizenry is not possible without free, independent and pluralistic media,” he said.
He said he is impressed with the role of social media activists in deepening public discourse, shaping public opinion and promoting transparency and accountability in the country.
“Nigeria, in Europe’s assessment is a country where freedom of expression is in general respected, the traditional media is relatively pluralistic, bloggers and cyber activists share their views. “Nigeria boasts of a large, vibrant social media community, whose engagement with the social-political processes has enriched public discourse and widened the frontier of participation on issues that concerns the citizenry, he concluded.”