A group of journalists, writers and public figures – all of whom campaigned for the All Progressives Congress, APC and the former military dictator during the 2015 elections – has penned an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the harassment of journalists by security services.
“They cited the two recent examples involving Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of SaharaReporters, who was detained last week, and Dapo Olunroyomi, the publisher of Premium Times, who was arrested and detained for hours on Thursday, January 19, 2017 by the police after a raid was carried out on the head office of his paper.
“Both SaharaReporters and Premium Times are partisan and openly supported the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2015 campaigns and during his presidency. These papers have mostly turned a blind-eye to the human rights abuses and genocide of the Buhari regime and openly endorsed the violation of human rights of Nigerians by the brutal regime. At various times, they have served as mouthpieces for the Buhari regime and played a central role in the extrajudicial media trials of Nigerians under the Buhari dictatorship.” – Culled from The Trent, Press Freedom: Ezekwesili, Other Prominent APC Supporters Write PresidentBuhari And Open Letter.
My Take: When did Buhari promise these APC campaigners that he respects freedom of speech? They knew General Buhari was an unqualified unrepentant dictator and they supported him anyway, out of hatred and jealousy for Goodluck Jonathan.
Now, one of them has been arrested even though he is recovering from cancer, they are waking up to write ineffectual open letters.
Did this same group condemn attacks on the press when Buhari attacked independent newspapers and journalists, especially early in the regime’s tenure?
They need to give me a break. Premium Times and SaharaReporters rode on the back of the tiger to prominence – they were funded by the APC to take down Goodluck Jonathan and they’ll end up in his belly.
Edward Oparaoji is a professor of pharmacy and chairman, Nigerian-American Leadership Council, a Washington DC Based think-tank. He is a member of the Editorial Board of The Trent, one of the most influential online newspapers in Nigeria. Connect with him on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.