Come up with a press release either as a rebuttal to statement credited to a public official on non-applicability of FOIA in a hypothetical state of the federation or as the position of your organization on the applicability of FOIA in a hypothetical State. You may need to consider: content, style, presentation and photograph (if necessary).
NAME OF ORGANISATION: Organization 3.
TITLE OF POSITION: NEED FOR A STATE TO IMPLEMENT FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA) NOW
Our attention has been drawn to the fact that “A” STATE is yet to implement the FOIA two years after its passage by the National Assembly and the assent to it by the president.
Our position for the applicability of the FOIA in this state has become imperative in view of the recent workshop on “Capacity Enhancement Training on FOIA for CSOs in the Southwest”. The revelation at this workshop shows the compelling need for our dear states to apply the FOIA. For us, it can no longer be business as usual.
For the purpose of education, the FOIA is the first law that empowers Nigerians with the right to access the records of public institutions (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) as well as the private sector, where they perform responsibilities of public nature. The Act which is a codification of the right to know and also a fundamental human right of every Nigerian citizen, grants all persons the legally enforceable right to access public held records. Moreover, the signing of the FOI Bill into law is an opportunity for the clearest demonstration ever of the power of civil society working together to influence public policy and initiate reform.
The whole Act borders on the issue of the right of access of anyone to public record and information. Section 2(1) of the Act categorically declares and establishes the right of any person to access or request information “which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution howsoever described”, whether such information is in a written form or otherwise.
However, after the two day workshop, which incidentally was held in this state, we strongly hold through this medium to appeal to the government of this State to, as a matter of urgency to implement this act in order to save our nascent democracy.
More so, the rationale behind our position steps from the fact emerging from the workshop that a sister state has already passed the law and another has held a stakeholders’ meeting on it. Therefore, for a state that prides itself as a pacesetter of the nation, there is the need and the time is now to have the application of the FOIA.
Among other benefits, is the need for free flow of information between the government and the governed, the public and the private institutions and the general public.
Our organization is ready to provide in areas of advocacy, to facilitate the implementation in order to contribute to the promotion of freedom of speech, human right and strengthen the rule of law in the state.
In conclusion, we want to appeal to all relevant authorities to take the bull by the horn to create an enabling environment for the applicability of the FOI Act.
Signed Organization 3.
- Omotayo Elegbede firstname.lastname@example.org
- Olamiji Olutowo email@example.com
- Imam Busairi firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kosoko Adesola email@example.com
- Ilesanmi Adetoun F. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Comrade Tunde Hassan email@example.com
- Rotimi Niyi firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kehinde Akinyemi email@example.com