Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA) Condemns The Arrest Of Journalist Maximus Uba And Calls For His Immediate Release
We at Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA) condemn the arrest of Journalist Maximus Uba by the Imo State Police Command on order of an Imo State Magistrate Court. Uba’s arrest might not be unconnected with his stoical criticisms of the Governor Ikedi Ohakim-led Government of Imo State.
We noticed that for sometime now, Uba has been under the vigilance of the state government on account of his doggedness in correcting what he always perceived as wrong in the Ohakim-led government of Imo State, which his critics many a time dubbed as working for his pay-masters to distract the Ohakim’s government.
Arresting Uba on account of his criticisms of the Imo State government amounts to breaching the part of the Nigerian Constitution which allows all citizens open-power of expression and denying Journalists their freedom of reporting unequivocally on both Local, State and National governments issues. PACA believes that Uba and Ohakim don’t have any personal squabbles, but on governance transparency.
While we condemn any form of seditious act, we want the authority in whose hand Uba is to release him unconditionally. He is a free citizen of Nigeria and has been explicating his fundamental rights through his literary criticisms, not arms.
Nigeria is practicing democracy, not dictatorship. Anyone ordering for the arrest of any Journalist in Nigeria can’t be described better than he or she is a dictator. Maximus Uba is not a terrorist, but a Journalist, clear headed and objective in the course of transparent writing. Is his offence because he is close to Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, whom many people percieved as Ohakim’s political enemy? But we know that history has never been merciful to any person or government whose stock-in-trade is dictatorship. PACA rejects Uba’s arrest and calls for his immediate release as failure to adhere by this call amounts to humiliation on the persona dramatis. We are calling on all journalists, human rights activists and all the good people of Imo State and indeed Nigeria to rise up against any form of terrorism targeted towards them in all the facets of Imo State endeavours, most especially, when they say the truth.
Prince Odimegwu Onwumere
Founder PACA, Rivers State.