As reactions from Nigerians and stakeholders on the controversial occupation of the Daily Trust’s Borno and Abuja offices and arrests of its editors and reporters by the military are getting heightened, the body of the entire political parties in Nigeria, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), has described the entire scenario as an unfortunate threat to press freedom and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
The reaction is contained in a short release by its Media Committee Secretary, Akinloye Oyeniyi on Sunday.
In the release, the Council said though after deafening condemnation from Nigerians, the Federal Government has directed the military to vacate the premises of Daily Trust, but the anti-democratic action stands condemned.
“We heard the Federal Government already ordered their vacation from the premises but truth be told, what happened is condemnable and anti-democratic. The role of the press as the watchdog of the nation is stipulated in Chapter II Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution, so all agencies of the mass media should at all times be free to uphold this statutory duty insofar the constitution is still in force.
“Therefore, due to the sensitivity of this period, as the umbrella body of all the registered political parties in the country, we are calling on the military, Police and paramilitary agencies to be as civil as demanded of their respective roles as we go into the polls and even beyond so as to enable the nation consolidate on the current democracy.
Issues between the military and the newspaper that mighy have led to today’s unfortunate incidences could be resolved through the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission whose mandate it is to address such.”