The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Sunday rejected the moves by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to further gag the media, subjugate Nigerians and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.
PDP said the decision by Buhari to impose stringent regulations on online media and broadcast organisations as recently announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is “completely obnoxious, anti-democratic and a direct violation of statutory rules governing media practice and freedom of expression in Nigeria.”
In a statement by its Spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party also rejected the Presidential declaration of political comments as “Class A” offence, insisting that such is “designed to undermine the nation’s constitutional democracy, exterminate the rights of citizens to dissenting public opinion, emasculate the opposition and foist a dictatorship and one party system on our nation.”
The statement reads: “Our party alerts that such moves amount to an attempt to amend our constitution to take away the rights of citizens and undermine our democratic institutions; a development that has the capacity to destabilize our dear nation.
“We invite Nigerians to note that this dictatorial pathways which the Buhari Presidency seeks to impose, if allowed, will herald the gradual emasculation of freedom of expression, repression of free press, infringements on the rights of citizens and foisting of siege mentality on the people.
“Nigerians are already apprehensive that the directive is geared towards clearing the ground for the introduction of certain harsh policies in our country.”
The party insisted that, “our constitution has made enough provisions to guide media practice as well as the exercise of freedom of expression,” adding that the “foisting of unconstitutional and suppressive regulations is not acceptable under any guise.”
The PDP, therefore, calls on the members of the National Assembly, as the representatives of the people, to reject this Presidential directive in the interest of our nation.
It also cautions President Muhammadu Buhari and his advisers not to derail the nation with such undemocratic policies.”
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