Dear Friend of the Press,
Nigerians have huge expectations about their future in the new dispensation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
It is now more than ever the responsibility of journalists to uphold their constitutional responsibility to professionally provide the society with news and information that we all need to make sense of our democracy.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has today written to President Buhari congratulating him on his victory in Nigeria’s presidential election. Attached is the letter which also detailed some of CPJ’s research leading to our grave concerns about Press Freedom in Nigeria. We are urging President Buhari to abide by his public assurances that he will not allow authorities to abuse the trust of the Nigerian public.
Yet, as I write to you, Joseph Hir of Daily Trust has fled Nassarawa State following a vicious attack on him May 29 by supporters of the state governor. He had hitherto been warned over stories not favouring the governor. Hir told me today that he has been receiving calls warning him not to return to Nassarawa State.
Presidential aides Shehu Garba and Femi Adesina have given me repeated assurances CPJ’s letter will reach Mr. President. Likewise Lai Mohammed, National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress, has committed himself to presenting CPJ’s letter to President Buhari.
My responsibilities with CPJ cannot be achieved without the collaboration from you, the Media and Civil Society, in holding the Nigeria government accountable to abide by the Nigerian Constitution, especially as it relates to our sacrosanct Section 22.
I appeal to your goodwill in joining me to uphold Press Freedom in Nigeria and importantly across the sub-region of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS).
Kindly widely disseminate the letter please. I would be willing to present myself to discuss further and at your convenience on the issues CPJ raised. There is a value in ensuring we keep the momentum in standing with one another in defending the rights of journalists.
Thank you for your time. I wish you well.
West Africa Representative
Committee to Protect Journalists – https://cpj.org
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