PPDC Urges President Tinubu to Address Assaults on Media Freedom


ABUJA (June 22, 2024) – The Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) has called on President Bola Tinubu to address the growing assaults on media freedom, including the alarming rise in the arrest and intimidation of journalists. The centre condemned the threats and censorship faced by media practitioners as unacceptable and absurd.

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During the maiden media convening in Abuja on Thursday, Lucy James Abagi, CEO of PPDC, and the Director of Partnerships and Innovation, highlighted the increasing misuse of the Cybercrime Act to suppress the media and civic space. Abagi particularly criticized the arrest and degrading treatment of Segun Olatunji, an editor who exposed alleged corruption by President Tinubu’s chief of staff, Femi Gbajabiamila. This incident, she stated, is capable of threatening press freedom and undermining the nation’s democratic process.

“The media and journalism are essential components of every democratic society. Today, we must address the pressing issue of the increasing arrests and intimidation of journalists in Nigeria,” Abagi said. She pointed to the recent detention of investigative journalist Daniel Ojukwu, who was held without charge for over a week after exposing corruption involving senior Nigerian officials. “This arrest underscores the dangers faced by those who dare to hold power accountable,” she added.

Abagi noted that these incidents are not isolated, citing the arrest of Segun Olatunji as part of a broader pattern of repression. “So far in 2024, our partners at the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) have documented over 34 cases of arrests nationwide. We are increasingly concerned that the Cybercrime Act is being used to suppress the media and civil society as a whole.”

The PPDC stands in solidarity with journalists and media organisations, recognizing their critical role in promoting transparency and accountability. Abagi called on the Nigerian government to uphold the rights of journalists, ensure their protection, and foster an environment where the media can operate freely and without fear.

Senior Communications Officer Mercy Don Igwe echoed these concerns, highlighting the increasing clampdown on journalists who demand accountability from the government and its officials. She emphasized the imperative for the Nigerian government to uphold press freedom and ensure the safety of journalists who risk their lives to uncover the truth.

“In today’s Nigeria, the media’s role in promoting transparency and accountability is more critical than ever,” stated Jubril Shittu, CEO of PPDC. “Events like this underscore our commitment to empowering journalists and defending media freedom globally.”

The event also featured a panel discussion titled “Unwavering in the Face of Censorship: The Power of Resilient Reporting,” which highlighted the challenges journalists face and strategies to uphold journalistic integrity despite censorship pressures. Distinguished speakers shared their experiences and insights on navigating hostile environments to report truthfully, emphasizing the crucial role of media organisations in safeguarding journalists and fostering a climate of transparency and accountability within the industry.

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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