The Peoples Democratic Party yesterday condemned what it termed the unjustified banning of Africa Independent Television and other media houses from covering activities of the Presidency, describing the development as a most heinous form of official victimization executed in bad faith.
The Presidency had on Tuesday pruned to 16 the number of correspondents to cover activities at the State House as a measure against the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
The PDP, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the alleged media ban by the Presidency as highly detestable, undemocratic and totally against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the Freedom of Information Act as well as the tenets and guiding principles of rule of law.
The party noted that the Presidency had no justification for its action and could therefore not give any cogent reason to necessitate the ban.
It alleged that the “unnecessary pettiness, victimization and barring of media houses has sparked off suspicion in the public space as being designed to conceal certain facts from the public.
“It is indeed instructive for the Buhari Presidency to note that our nation is in dire need of hope and direction contained in timely information, especially from the government.
“Consequently, clamping down on the media, which is a critical stakeholder in this important effort to defeat COVID-19 is completely at variance with our national interest.”
Meanwhile, presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, while reacting yesterday to the reported ban of journalists from the State House, said the word “ban” was wrong as a gathering of about 108 journalists in the press gallery was against the spirit of the time.
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