World Press Freedom Day: ‘Freedom Championed by Pen’

(A joint press release by INDY Press, AFAS Press and Sultan Bello Hall Press)


It is World Press Freedom Day. On this auspicious occasion, commemorated globally, we, as indicated above, strongly restate our unwavering commitment to promote and defend the ideals or the idea of freedom to the press, both at the University-wide and national levels.

The origin of what is today a ‘World Press Day’ is premised on Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, aimed at reinstating a maximum level of commitment of all institutions, be it governmental or not, to the importance of the press in shaping the world.

The practicable concept of ‘Press freedom’ is an indispensable fixture of democracy. As a pillar, it is the linchpin of an active, informed and progressing society. In the case of a student community like ours, it is the grandest conscience of the University that must not be slanted.

As the fourth estate of the realm, a press outfit plays the vital role of holding individuals with democratic power or authority to account, stimulating conversations, ensuring transparency, and safeguarding the fundamental rights of all citizens. The role evenly imbues in the press the sacred duty as a watchdog to ensure that democracy remains healthy.

From the foregoing, the imperative for press freedom is non-negotiable. It is the surest guarantee that diverse voices will ever be heard, dissenting opinions respected, and critical issues unburied.

It is often said that “freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, but is itself democracy”. With regrettable instances of censorship and threats against campus journalists recorded at the University of Ibadan and in other academic institutions in Nigeria, the imperative of a well timed commemoration of this nature cannot be overemphasized.

Such overweening actions, whether perpetrated by University managements, hall authorities, students leaders, are not only antithetical to the principles of academic freedom, but are inimical to the values of truth which are the bases of the human world.

The unfortunate ordeal faced by one of such, Kunle Adebajo, a graduate Law Student of the University of Ibadan in 2016, which had his journalistic pursuits met with intimidation, threats to his studentship, and censorship attempts, remain a fresh memory, as campus journalists struggle with its ripple effects and are hardly free to practice an all-round journalism.

With a recall of all instances where the press has been forcefully gagged as a grim reminder of the dangers posed by the suppression of press freedom within our educational institutions, at the national and global level at large, we unequivocally condemn censorship, harassment, or violence against the global profession of journalism, and of especial importance the victimization of student journalists.

Through this occasion, we call upon the management of the University of Ibadan, hall managements, and the entire student body to embrace and uphold the principles of press freedom and academic freedom, which are peaceably in sync.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right that must be protected and cherished, as it is through organized information and an unfettered drive for inquiry that progress and enlightenment can be best achieved.

With a ‘World Press Freedom Day’ reaffirming this noble call, we hereby reaffirm our unwavering call to a University-wide commitment to defending the rights of student journalists, promoting media pluralism, and upholding the principles of democracy.

Only together can we ensure that the pen remains mightier than the sword, and that the pursuit of truth and justice prevails over fear or intimidation.


Aduwo Ayodele


IndyPress Organisation.


Olanshile Ogunrinu


AFAS Press.


Ibraheem Fiyinfoluwa

Deputy Editor-in-Chief,

Sultan Bello Hall Press.

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