Punch reporter recalled to Presidential Villa
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose has condemned the expulsion of the State House Correspondent of Punch Newspaper, Olalekan Adetayo, from the Presidential Villa, Abuja, describing it as “sign of what is to come from a dictatorial government that desires that the media must only tell Nigerians what it wants them to hear and nothing more.”
The reporter was recalled to the villa yesterday. The Presidency ordered his recall barely 10 hours after his expulsion from the beat. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, confirmed the development in a message addressed to the Chairman of the State House Press Corps, Malam Ubale Musa.
He disclosed that the recall followed the intervention of the Director-General of the Department for State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura. The governor stated that he warned Nigerians of the emerging dictatorship of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
In a statement issued yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said: “It should worry all lovers of democracy and free press that a journalist, who was only doing his job was subjected to humiliating treatment of writing a statement by the Chief Security Officer to the President, Bashir Abubakar, before he was escorted out of the Presidential Villa like a common criminal.”
Also, the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday declared that Adetayo’s expulsion was a move towards deepening the roots of dictatorship and fascism in Nigeria.
A statement by the spokesman of the caretaker committee, Dayo Adeyeye, in Abuja yesterday said the content of Adetayo’s report was already known to Nigerians and ought not to constitute a crime.