●Says action confirms a fascist agenda
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned in strong terms the constant brazen attacks, threats and negative labelling of the Media in Nigeria by the flustering and frustrated Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Organization.
The party said Nigerians were appalled by the inflammatory declaration of hostility, animosity and labelling of Arise News TV by the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign as part of its scheme to intimidate the media in Nigeria from carrying out its constitutional duty of providing Nigerians the legitimate and credible platform to examine, review and interrogate the policies and programmes of those aspiring to hold the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary Hon. Debo Ologunagba, the main opposition party said the action of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign was an unpardonable display of intolerance, aversion and hatred for the media and a direct affront to Section 22 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“This confirms apprehension by Nigerians of APC’s plot to discount critical sections of our Constitution to stifle the Media, erode free speech and foist a fascist system in our country.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to observe that while asserting that the APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has the right to ‘decide where he goes and events to participate in’ the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign exposed its proclivity towards fascism by seizing the constitutional freedom of association of other Nigerians particularly their spokespersons and supporters from exercises their right to appear in media or platform of their choice.
“Nigerians know that Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign is desperate to shield Asiwaju Tinubu from answering questions on his numerous alleged issues of perjury, certificate forgery, treasury-looting, inconsistencies in name, age, ancestry, educational qualification as well as his reported involvement in trafficking in narcotics for which he forfeited $460,000 through an Order of a Court of competent jurisdiction in the United States.
“The Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign should know that evading Media invitation at home in Nigeria and running to Chatham House in London cannot save Asiwaju Tinubu. Nigerians are demanding that he should address them at home and not in London.
“Our Party holds firmly that as the Fourth Estate of the Realm, the Media has a duty under the Constitution to act as the watch dog of government, public officials and those aspiring to hold public offices.
“In that regard every media platform in Nigeria has the obligation to ensure that those who aspire to public offices, especially the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must make themselves available for the Nigerian people to examine, review and interrogate their policies and programmes for the nation.
“Our fear is that the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign’s threats to the media is capable of inciting APC thugs against media practitioners and journalists in Nigeria and intimidate them from carrying out their Constitutional duties,” the statement read.
The PDP drew the attention of the Inspector General of Police to the threat by the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign towards the media and take steps to ensure that the media had a conducive environment and freedom to discharge their duties to the nation.
The party charged the media not to be intimidated but remain firm and resolute within its professional ethics in the discharge of its duties especially ahead of the 2023 general elections.