Assault on Nigerian press, danger to 2015 — IPI

By Abdulrahman A. Abdulrauf

The Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute (IPI) has expressed concern over the persistent media assault by the federal government.
It condemned in particular the ongoing ambush of newspaper delivery vans, seizure and destruction of newspapers by the military under the dubious guise of protecting national security.

Executive committee of the institute made the condemnation in a statement yesterday in Abuja.
It said: “The government is already notorious for its assault on the free press but this week’s mindless and coordinated assault on some selected newspapers across the country is a new low
“The explanation by the military authorities that its action was necessitated by a desire to preempt usage of media outlets by insurgents for their nefarious activities is weak, infantile, and an insult on the intelligence of Nigerians.”
“In the run-up to the general elections, the current assault could be a pointer to a greater danger to the free press in Nigeria. It is a frightening possibility that the media must resist.”

IPI called on the government to stop its ongoing media repression.
It added: “As partners-in- progress, the media community is willing and ready to work with the government on the nation’s security challenges. But the press will not submit to any undemocratic, cow-boy tactics.
“Assault on the free press did not work in Nigeria in the past – not even under the brutal military dictatorships. It certainly will not work under this democratic dispensation.”