ALERT: The Buhari Gov’t Is Intimidating Nigerians And Clamping Down On Free...

ALERT: The Buhari Gov’t Is Intimidating Nigerians And Clamping Down On Free Speech

By The Trent on December 4, 2015
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Raymond Dokpesi, Daar Communications, AIT Television, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria, EFCC
Chairman of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi answering questions from reporters during his 60th birthday thanksgiving service in Abuja on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | NAN Photo

The original article was removed at the request of the author.

We replace its content with a warning The Trent issued in an editorial on September 21, 2015. It was titled, Buhari Presidency’s Response To The Trent: Our Position. You may read the full editorial HERE. You may also read the attack launched by Aso Rock on The Trent HERE.

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FG Threats Against The Trent

We are not taking this intimidation by the Nigerian government against our newspaper, our journalists, and our Executive Editor, Ms. Uko lightly. This open threat follows a disturbing pattern in the few months of Buhari’s presidency. It is just one more, in a series of bullying, and threats of arrest targeted at our journalists and Ms. Uko from minions of the government and Nigeria’s Secret Police.

The Nigerian public, the international community, democratic governments around the world, and human rights organisations have been placed on notice with regards to these strong-arm tactics.

President Buhari and his government need to be placed under close observation even as top-ranking officials are mooting the idea of a clampdown on individual and press freedoms by censoring social media in Nigeria. Such an undemocratic move, would amount to a despotic approach to governance by this regime.

Already, the Nigerian government is operating a secretive high-tech surveillance programme which it uses to spy on its citizens, tapping their phones, and hacking their email and social media accounts at will. These tyrannical operations, carried out in the name of “fighting Boko Haram”, are alien to a free and democratic society.

As a newspaper, we have the responsibility to respect the wishes of our sources, who spoke with our journalist at grave risk to their lives. Specifically, in this instance, they expressed worry over the tyrannical methods of the Buhari regime. Their fears, and the fact that a government press statement could include an open threat to a journalist, are a manifestation of the dictatorial tendencies of the Buhari government.

This episode provides important leads to what the Nigerian press should expect, going forward, from the Buhari-led Aso Rock.

What The Trent Stands For

When we set up The Trent, less than two years ago, we committed to upholding the highest standards of editorial integrity; these principles and standards which are clearly spelt out in our Editorial Policy guides our people and processes at all levels.

While, our Board does not interfere in the day-to-day running of our newspaper, our team of Editors take every possible step to ensure that we deliver to our readers accurate and high quality news and information. Keeping with global best practice, only our editorial staff have control over the editorial process. At no time do we permit non-editorial staff, for example, the Board of our parent company, or external groups to influence our editorial decisions.

We launched The Trent in December 2013, with the resolve to playing a crucial role in shaping a free and progressive society by shining the spotlight on our political, business, social, and judicial systems; to highlight injustice and corruption; and to give a voice to the unheard, the oppressed, and forgotten of our society.

In 20 months, The Trent has risen to become one of the most influential online newspapers in Nigeria. This is not by happenstance. Our rise is a result of careful planning, creative thinking, sustained brand management, and the ancient principles of hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of heart.

The Trent is independent, and we are in the business of reporting news and not hiding or distorting it. We are committed to keeping our promise to our readers. They can be rest assured that we cannot be bought by special interest groups.

The Editorial Board of The Trent
September 21, 2015

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