The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday, August 14, slammed the Federal Government over what it called a renewed clampdown on the media and gagging of free speech by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Specifically, this was contained in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the party; Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement titled; “Nigeria Info: PDP Condemns Media Clampdown by APC FG,” in Abuja.
Indeed, 1st News had reported that the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation imposed a N5 million fine on Nigeria Info Radio Station. Specifically, the fine was handed down for airing views expressed by former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank; Obadiah Mailafia which officials considered subversive.
“The Peoples Democratic Party has condemned the renewed clampdown on the media and gagging of free speech in our country; by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.
“It insists that without prejudice to the allegations or claims the Federal Government has against Nigeria Info; a broadcast station, on issues of content, the Federal Government cannot, on its own; impose sanctions against a media house or individuals for expressing their right to free speech.
“The PDP holds that if anybody, be him the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; a state governor, a Senator of the Federal Republic, a Member of the House of Representatives, a public entity; or even the most ordinary Nigerian, have been libelled or infringed upon by any other Nigerian; the process for redress is clearly stated in the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and should be followed.”
Further, the statement reads, “As a party, the PDP stands against draconian methods or underhand measures which this administration has set out to gag the media and erode the rights of Nigerians as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“Our party holds that due process must be followed for redress in instances where violations are alleged and not by extrajudicial sanctions and clampdown on the media, as being witnessed under the APC administration.
“The PDP, standing in solidarity with Nigerians, therefore condemns any attempt to gag the media and asks the APC federal government to rescind its draconian actions and reverse to due process, as provided by the 1999 Constitution, in handling issues relating to the freedom of the media.”
Meanwhile, the DSS has re-invited Mailafia for questioning.