Barring of African Independent Television, AIT, owners of AIT TV and Ray Power FM by the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari from covering his activities has drawn the anger of South-South Pen Pushers, SSPP, saying the action is unfortunate.
The group, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, described the action of the president-elect as vindictive and a clear sign that the APC-led federal government will be intolerant to press freedom and the media.
According to the statement signed by Inusa Sule, Director, Publicity of SSPP, Buhari has shown that he has not changed from a dictator to a born-again democrat, and warned Nigerians to be vigilant or they will be stripped of the civil liberties which they have enjoyed under the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency.
Sule reminded the President-elect and APC that the 1999 constitution, as amended gives the press the right to hold government and its officials accountable to the people, therefore the scare tactics of the incoming regime will be stoutly resisted by Nigerians of good conscience.
The statement reads: “The decision by APC and President-elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari to bar AIT from covering their events is unfortunate and a scare tactic against the media from putting the searchlight on the incoming regime.
“If the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari feels strongly about the documentaries aired on him by AIT, he should seek legal recourse against the sponsors and not to maul the station.
“The action demonstrates clear and present danger to press and media freedom in the country which any true and patriotic Nigerian should resist. The price of freedom and democracy is eternal vigilance.
“The action against the TV station coming barely 24 hours after the National Publicity Secretary of the APC lampooned the media as being lazy and lacking in credibility should serve as a warning that the civil liberties and unfettered media space created by the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency are in danger of being eroded.
The statement further called on the president-elect to rescind the decision barring AIT and apologise to the nation for the embarrassment he has caused after a peaceful transition, querying, “Will President Barack Obama bar FOX News for its racist slur against him and blacks?”