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Adamu dislodges reporters as Nweke, others harp on virile media for survival of democracy

By Adamu Abuh (Abuja) and Lawrence Njoku (Enugu)
06 April 2022   |   3:58 am
All Progressive Congress (APC) National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, yesterday, ordered the dislodgement of journalists from the party’s secretariat in Abuja.

[FILE] New Chairman of Nigeriaís ruling political party, the All Progressive Congress committee, Abdullahi Adamu react after been announced as the partyís new chairman, during the partyís National Convention. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

All Progressive Congress (APC) National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, yesterday, ordered the dislodgement of journalists from the party’s secretariat in Abuja.

An unidentified official adduced the urgent need to “remodel” the media centre as reason for the decision to dislodge reporters from the media centre furnished by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and facilitated by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

But findings revealed that the action was to relocate the office of the national chairman from the third floor to the ground floor where the media centre was situated purely for the convenience of the new national chairman of the party.

“You know the chairman is an elderly man. He can’t be climbing the staircase as regular as you can imagine in this electioneering period. He deserves a simple location where he can easily drop from his car and walk to his office downstairs,” a source privy to the arrangement said.

He added: “This did not go down well with the journalists, numbering over 50, who felt the development may be part of a calculated attempt to stop them from keeping tab with the activities of the party ahead of the primaries holding soon.”

It is unclear if the party would allocate another section of the secretariat to correspondents, who have been forced to loiter and seek refuge under trees within the premises.

IN a related development, former Minister of Information, Frank Nweke (Jnr), United States Embassy in Nigeria and other relevant stakeholders have re-emphasised the role of the media in the sustenance of democracy, saying the country’s civil rule would not function properly without an effective media.

At a well-attended town hall meeting organised for media practitioners in the South East by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and themed, “Accessing Media Performance in Consolidating Nigeria’s Democracy,” the participants stated that part of the challenge Nigeria’s democracy faces was the neglect of the media industry by government, politicians and private media owners.

The meeting, which continues today, is sponsored by the United States Embassy in Nigeria and is aimed at building capacity of media practitioners in the region.

The Information Officer, United States Embassy in Nigeria, Jeanne Clark, acknowledged that there was a decline globally in freedom of the media in the past 15 years, stressing that the situation in Africa was compounded by some disturbing trends, including parallel rise in political authoritarianism and media self-censorship, growing mistrust and diminishing confidence that democracies could reverse in the long run.