PDP Accuses Buhari Of Plot To Gag Media, Freedom of Speech
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government of moves to further gag the media, subjugate Nigerians and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.
PDP rejected the purported move in a press statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan.
The party castigated the decision by President Buhari to impose stringent regulations on online media and broadcast organisations as recently announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
It said the move “is completely obnoxious, anti-democratic and a direct violation of statutory rules governing media practice and freedom of expression in Nigeria”.
The PDP also rejects the Presidential declaration of political comments as “Class A” offence.
Ologbondiyan insisted that such is designed to undermine the nation’s constitutional democracy, exterminate the rights of citizens to dissenting public opinion, emasculate the opposition and foist a dictatorship and one party system on our nation.
The party alerted that such moves amount to an attempt to amend our constitution to take away the rights of citizens and undermine our democratic institutions; a development that has the capacity to destabilize our dear nation.
The PDP invites Nigerians to note that this dictatorial pathways which the Buhari Presidency seeks to impose, if allowed, will herald the gradual emasculation of freedom of expression, repression of free press, infringements on the rights of citizens and foisting of siege mentality on the people.
Speaking further, Ologbondiyan said: “Nigerians are already apprehensive that the directive is geared towards clearing the ground for the introduction of certain harsh policies in our country”.
He insisted that Nigeria’s constitution has made enough provisions to guide media practice as well as the exercise of freedom of expression, adding that the foisting of unconstitutional and suppressive regulations is not acceptable under any guise.
The PDP, therefore, called on members of the National Assembly, as the representatives of the people, to reject this Presidential directive in the interest of our nation.
It also cautions President Buhari and his advisers not to derail the nation with such undemocratic policies.