Several notable Nigerians including the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Atiku Abubakar and Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose have condemned the invasion of Daily Trust Newspaper by the Nigerian military
Speaking via a statement signed by his media aide, Paul Ibe, Atiku said soldiers should not be used to intimidate law-abiding citizens.
The statement reads: “We totally condemn these actions and call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately call his forces to order and end their attack on the media and the freedom of the press.
“This is a travesty, the likes of which we have not seen since the heinous days of military rule. Atiku Abubakar and other pro-democrats did not risk their lives fighting for democracy for this to happen.
“This is unacceptable. The media is not only a partner in progress to the government, but they are also a quasi-arm of government being, as Edmund Burke propounded, the Fourth Estate of the Realm.
“The particular use of heavily armed soldiers also shows the abuse of scarce resources which has exacerbated the insecurity currently plaguing Nigeria.
“Our soldiers should not be used to target law-abiding citizens. A dutiful and prudent Commander-in-Chief should rather deploy them to either the Northeast or the Zamfara-Katsina axis, especially after the governors of both states held New Year’s Day conferences bemoaning the breakdown of law and order in their respective states.
“if the government has issues with Media Trust Limited, it should bring charges against them at a court of competent jurisdiction or the Nigeria Press Council, the statutory body that governs ethical standards in the Nigerian press.”
Also speaking on the incident, former Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose accused President Muhammadu Buhari of running a dictatorship.
Speaking via his Twitter page Fayose wrote:
“ Before us is a full-blown dictatorship & I warned! Now in a democracy, Army invaded @daily_trust office, took its staff away! Ain’t we back to Buhari’s tyranny of 1984 when under Decree 4, journalists must not report information considered embarrassing to govt?”
Before us is a full-blown dictatorship & I warned! Now in a democracy, Army invaded @daily_trust office, took its staff away! Ain't we back to Buhari's tyranny of 1984 when under Decree 4, journalists must not report information considered embarrassing to govt?
— Peter Ayodele Fayose (@GovAyoFayose) January 6, 2019