Banning journalists from presidential villa is treacherous, undemocratic, says HURIWA
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has condemned the withdrawal of accreditation to some journalists and media houses covering the Presidential Villa.
The organisation which described the development as worrying and despotic,
also condemned the invasion of the African Independent Television and Ray Power FM stations in Rivers State by suspected agents of the state government on Sunday.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Tuesday, expressed shock and consternation that President Tinubu whose reputation was largely enhanced because he is a renowned media owner picked and choose media houses that will cover the State House.
“It is a disappointing Irony that it is a government headed by a media/newspaper publisher of distinguished repute and a tested and trusted Television proprietor is the same that has just unleashed a reign of dictatorship against media houses that he perceived as not being Pro-Tinubu from covering the State House Abuja as if Aso Rock is his personal property.”
HURIWA kicked against the “irrational, undemocratic, unconstitutional and entirely unacceptable decision, thus: “it beggars belief that Tinubu who as a leading activist during the infamous General Sani Abacha’s military Junta, utilised the services of the media for virtually free of charge, to wage tenacious pro-democracy battles against tyranny, but now as the elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he, Tinubu has engaged in a selective war against perceived independent media.”
HURIWA stated that disqualifying reputable media outlets who even worked seamlessly under former President Buhari’s regime, is the lowest that Nigeria can get even as the group said the action violates section 22 of the 1999 constitution.
HURIWA regrettably recalled that in a related development, the Rivers State Government shut down the operations of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM in Port Harcourt.
HURIWA resolved to send a letter to the minister of FCT urging him to ‘let my people go’, by “allowing his political stooge to untangle the ban on the operational presence of Africa’s most respected Television station- AIT from Rivers State. ”
HURIWA said shutting down AIT offices from Rivers is indirectly denying Sons and daughters of Rivers who are bonafide staff if the company in Rivers from remaining gainfully employed.
The rights group said it is against public good and interest to shut down AIT from Rivers State just as the Rights group asked the Rivers State government to let AIT breathe.
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