The free press has been described as essential companion in democracy and nation building.
A media practitioner, Oluseyi Dasilva made this known while delivering a keynote address at the Press Club week, of Bishop Smith Memorial College, Ilorin.
Dasilva said “The role of the media as a bridge between the people and the government calls for freedom as a way of holding government accountable”.
“A free press guarantees democracy and helps to curb dictatorial tendencies of some rulers who get easily exposed and, in the process undermine the constitutional rights of their citizens.
“The duty of the press is to rein-in such leaders and expose their illegal acts”, he said.
A free press, according to him is not only a major component but multiple indicators of democracy and good governance. “In a nation where there is press freedom, the media functions effectively as a watch-dog, and an agenda-setter and also helps to promote democracy, good governance and thus human development”
The keynote speaker, who is the Kwara State Correspondent of Arise TV advocated that the Press Clubs in secondary schools be given desired freedom to operate as partners in the progress of their schools as a way of teaching them how to be true leaders for the future.
He also urged the members of the press club and students in general to enlighten their parents and relations to embrace the newly introduced government policies, especially the cashless policy and the ongoing Population and Housing Census, explaining the importance of national head count.
He called on Nigerians to endure whatever hardship is brought about by the policies adding that the policies are in the best interest of Nigerians.
Earlier, the Principal, Bishop Smith Memorial College, Senior secondary, Rufus O. Agunbiade, commended the coordinators of the Press club for a job well done in preparing their pupils for an enviable future.
He promised to give further support to the press club for them to achieve more as conscience of the society.
Highlight of the event marking the 65th year anniversary of the school was the presentation of gifts to deserving students who performed creditably well in article writing contest as well as poems presentation.