condemned President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari for banning African
Independent Television, AIT, from covering his activities, saying such
action smacks of some hidden agenda.
The group inn a statement signed by its Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi
Sulaiman said the President-elect is attempting to resuscitate the
anti-democratic ethos in a democratic setting.
The rights group however declared that General Buhari should be
tutored on how to conduct the act of governance in a democratic era,
believing that democracy was new in the President-Elect dictionary and
strange to his nature because of his military dictatorship background,
stressing that the Freedom of Press is one of the ground norms of
entrenching democracy in the world.
The group therefore urged the genuine pro-democracy Nigerians to stand
up to be ready to defend our current democratic experiment before the
anti-democratic forces returned the country back to the dark days of
military era where freedom of expression were withdrawn through
draconian decree of 1984.
The Right group maintained that Buhari has goofed with the decision of
banning the respected media station from covering his (Buhari) activities
till further notice, describingthe banning of AIT by the President-Elect
as undemocratic, illegal, evil, ungodly, anti-masses and anti-development
which should not be allowed to stand in a democracy, saying that General
Buhari lacks moral right and constitutional justification to ban any media
outfit from coverage of his activities since he elected as the next
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for period of another four
His words: “Nigeria people, particularly, the men of fourth estate of
realm should be extreme careful now with this present development from
Buhari, the President-Elect so as to avoid being the first victim
of Buhari’s government after inauguration in May 29th, 2015.Buhari
should know that this is a democracy where there is no privacy for any
political leader. When Mrs. Turai Yaradua, the wife of Late President
Yaradua, declared that She has power on her husband, Nigeria people
told him that her husband, was President of Nigeria people and they
ought to know the where about of their President, which shows that no
privacy for General Muhammadu Buhari in a democratic setting again
until he finishes his term of office in 2019.”
Comrade Sulaiman also declared that the functional media sector of a
country was the basis where the genuine democracy rest on, urged Mr.
President-Elect to be ready to uphold the democratic ethos and values
and demonstrate strong believe in our democratic institutions by
seeking any redress of his(Buhari) grievances in the court of law.
While commending the outgoing President of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for his political maturity and
sense of humility for allowing opposition as one of the ingredients
of genuine democracy to grow in our democratic setting and also signed
the Freedom of Information Act into law for deepening of our
CHRSJ boss condemned the illegal clamp down of media outfit by the
President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari and urged him (Buhari) to do
the right step by rescinding the decision immediately within the
twenty-four hours(24hrs)and as well tender the unreserved public
apology to the Nigeria citizens.
Supporting his position with the provision of 1999 constitution as
amended in section 22 which stated that: “the press, radio, television
and other agencies of mass media shall at all times be free to uphold
the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the
responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.”By
virtue of this provision, the constitutional powers and duties or
obligation of the press are to help government realize the fundamental
objectives and directive principles of state policy as contained in
the constitution. The media or the press is also expected to uphold
the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.
In other words, the press performs a nation builder role (development
journalism) as well as being a watchdog of government actions or
activities pertaining to governance, transparency and accountability.
Therefore, in a situation whereby the representatives in government
get intoxicated by the virtue of their power, the society expects the
media to put them back on the right track because absolute power
Rights activist also added that Section 39 which entrenched the
freedom of expression and the Press that Every person shall be
entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions
and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference
and without prejudice to the generality of subsection 1&3a&b.
Sulaiman then urged General Buhari to leave above board for effective
governance of the country, saying that nobody above the 1999
constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.