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Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial - Politics - Nairaland

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Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by treesun: 7:54am On May 16
THE escalating trend of journalist abductions in a democratic government under the guise of law enforcement is causing grave concern among the public especially media practitioners, who face heightened fears for their safety while carrying out their duties. The apprehension extends to the families and friends of journalists, who are increasingly alarmed about the safety and freedom of their loved ones. Tinubu, his officials, the military, and the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, should understand that press freedom is integral to democracy. Tinubu should stop these abuses.

From the abduction of FirstNews Editor, Segun Olatunji, from his residence in Lagos on March 15, by military troops, to the recent distressing incident involving Daniel Ojukwu of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, who was captured by the police on the streets of Lagos, media professionals find themselves in a peril reminiscent of Nigeria’s dreaded era of military dictatorship.

In the latest episode on May 1, the FIJ filed a missing person report at police stations in the vicinity where Ojukwu was expected to be present. However, three days later, a private investigator contracted by FIJ managed to trace the last known location of the journalist’s phone to an address in Isheri-Olofin, a site believed to be where law enforcement personnel apprehended him.

Subsequently, Ojukwu’s family received information about his detention at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos. They were informed that authorities accused him of violating the 2015 Cybercrime Act. Ojukwu was bundled to Abuja three days later.


He was reportedly arrested for a story that alleged that a top government official in the Presidency caused N147 million, originally allocated to build a school, to be paid into the account of a restaurant in Abuja. In Nigeria, where public corruption is deep, the police should have investigated both sides.

Olatunji had also been abducted for reporting about corruption in the Presidency.

The timing of Ojukwu’s abduction is particularly poignant, coinciding with Nigerian journalists’ participation in the global observance of the 2024 World Press Freedom Day. He was released after being held for 10 days without any court hearing.


Tinubu and Egbetokun are setting bad precedents.

In its defence, police spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi said there was a petition against Ojukwu and about 15 cases against FIJ. But the cases cannot be solved by the police taking the law into their own hands. There are enough laws on slander, libel, and falsehood to prosecute erring journalists and organisations, but not by abduction.

A report says 25 journalists have been prosecuted under the Cybercrime Act since its introduction, including eight under the Tinubu administration.

Under Tinubu’s predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, journalists suffered undue persecution, including Jones Abiri, Agba Jalingo, and Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of an online newspaper, Sahara Reporters.

In truth, the police are busy chasing shadows. Journalists are mostly harmless. Instead of abducting them and raising tensions, Egbetokun should concentrate on bandits, terrorists, and armed robbers who slaughter police officers and citizens in the North.

Despite this, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, insists that no journalist has been incarcerated under the Tinubu administration. That is a lie.

The stark reality on the ground contradicts such boasting. The abduction and detention of journalists not only infringe upon their fundamental rights but also cast a shadow of fear over the entire media landscape. This climate of intimidation and coercion hampers journalists’ ability to perform their duties effectively and undermines the principles of democracy and freedom of expression.


In its 2024 World Press Freedom Index, Reporters without Borders lists Nigeria as 112th out of 180 countries because it is “a challenging place to practise journalism.” It stood at No. 129 in the 2022 index.

A 2021 Press Freedom Report said eight journalists were killed under Buhari between 2015 and 2021. There were 300 violations in 500 incidents against Nigerian journalists in the period. Like China, the Buhari government, through Lai Muhammed, its Minister of Information, repeatedly tried to introduce coercive laws against press freedom. In June 2021, it banned Twitter (now X) from the country’s social media space for seven months.

As media practitioners continue to face threats to their safety and freedom, the government must uphold its commitment to press freedom and ensure the protection of journalists from arbitrary arrest, detention, and harassment. Failure to do so not only jeopardises the safety and well-being of journalists but also undermines the integrity of Nigeria’s democratic institutions.

In the hallowed halls of democracy, the freedom of the press stands as a guardian, a beacon illuminating the shadows where corruption lurks, and tyranny festers. In Nigeria, the once-bright light of press freedom is dimming under the shadow of the Tinubu administration, which exhibits alarming echoes of the repressive tactics employed during the brutal military regimes of Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha in the 1980s and 1990s.

The parallels between Tinubu’s government and the autocratic rule of Abacha are too glaring to ignore. Like Abacha, who wielded censorship as a tool to crush dissent and maintain an iron grip on power, Tinubu is tightening the noose around the neck of free speech, seeking to silence those who dare to challenge the status quo. This erosion of press freedom represents a dangerous regression for Nigeria, once hailed as the hope of democracy in Africa.

The crackdown on journalists sends a chilling message to whistleblowers and activists, who seek to expose corruption and injustice. By silencing the messenger, the Tinubu government seeks to shield itself from scrutiny and accountability, perpetuating a culture of impunity where those in power operate above the law.

Yet, a free press is not a luxury but a fundamental pillar of democracy. Without the ability to report truthfully and without fear, democracy withers, and tyranny thrives. The Nigerian people deserve a government that respects and upholds the principles of press freedom, not one that seeks to suppress dissent and control the narrative at any cost.



Tinubu must heed the calls for reform and immediately halt the assault on press freedom by law enforcement agencies, especially by the military, police, and Department of State Services. Journalists must be allowed to carry out their duties without fear of reprisal or persecution. The arbitrary arrests, intimidation, and harassment must cease, and those responsible for violating the rights of journalists must be held accountable.

The government should enact robust legal protections for press freedom and ensure journalists can operate without fear of censorship or retaliation. Freedom of the press is enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution, and it is incumbent upon the government to uphold this.

It is time for Tinubu to respect the role of the press as the Fourth Estate of the realm and uphold the principles of democracy by allowing journalists to work freely and without fear. Anything less would be a betrayal of the Nigerian people and a dark stain on the future of democracy in the country.

The individuals and organisations concerned should resort to litigation against their tormentors.

https://punchng.com/tinubu-egbetokun-stop-harassing-journalists/

12 Likes 1 Share

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by Malroux: 7:56am On May 16
Tinubu is a closet tyrant hiding under the robe of a democrat.

48 Likes 1 Share

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by DeeNet1: 7:56am On May 16
What a country

5 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by Elusive001: 8:02am On May 16
Malroux:
Tinubu is a closet tyrant hiding under the robe of a democrat.


You don't know how drug lords reign?

41 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by Treasure17(m): 8:02am On May 16
An administration trying so hard to suppress the freedom of speech.

19 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by chatinent: 8:03am On May 16
You'd think there's a constitution in Nigeria.

Even the one we use now was borrowed from our colonial masters. We never draft our own...we dey only amend am.

10 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by Malroux: 8:34am On May 16
Elusive001:



You don't know how drugs lords reign.
Na so.

1 Like

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by AbuTwins: 9:13am On May 16
It actually goes both ways!

While as you said they may be culpable of many ills, you guys should also stop the spread of fake/unconfirmed news, collecting envelops to mar politically exposed persons and all other shady deals in Journalism like tribalism, etc.

2 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by bigdammyj: 9:13am On May 16
Noted.
Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by ozijay: 9:17am On May 16
Don't complain now Oga, when we tried not to allow these underworld dawgs to take power you people left us on the spotlight alone oya face the consequences. It's even good so that everybody will learn serious lessons.

treesun:


https://punchng.com/tinubu-egbetokun-stop-harassing-journalists/

5 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by israelmao(m): 9:19am On May 16
Emilokan bought votes and INEC chairman,hired thugs to harassed voters in the last presidential election,he will also stop at nothing to descend on dissenting opinions to stay afloat amidst mammoth of failures.

10 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by Fujiyama: 9:19am On May 16
undecided

No surprises that the military had a cameo appearance.

With all the serious security threats to this country, soldiers still have the time to arrest and lock up journalists.

As Fela Kuti once said: 'Big blind country'.

11 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by Ofunaofu: 9:19am On May 16
Tinubu was never a Democrat and will never be a Democrat.

Tinubu is a notorious narcotics drug trafficker engaging in criminal state capture.

18 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by BeigJawnson(m): 9:20am On May 16
As a field journalist, common sense is needed. Do your work on a ghost mode. Stop flashing your I.D cards on necks anymore. Do your work on coded level, like a detective. Disguise and do your job. Pray before stepping out. When giving reports, do it anonymously...

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by kenn4rill(m): 9:20am On May 16
Maybe we owe Buhari some apologies because this government has already done far worse than the previous in just a short time

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by Stevenson20: 9:22am On May 16
Tinubu is a tyrant.
This year will be the best year of Tinubu, you all should brace up for what's coming after this year.

7 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by Inobeyourmate: 9:28am On May 16
I know say some mumu go dry here to say bad things about Tinubu, but una no go ever criticise people or do I even say your brothers from the east wet dey always give out fake news to the public, all these obedients no just dey get brain, anyways, e no dey move me again since una don dey root for same Atiku wey una pass anything, since he don dey romance Pitobi now, he don turn saint. Nah eleriibu una be 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by ganisucks(f): 9:29am On May 16
You people have time. Have you ever seen a child learn not to eat? Once something bad starts in Nigeria, it never stops. Nigerian elite have learnt that they can easily arrest their critics and dispense with bad publicity, as easy as they please. The only way it will stop is to change the laws and make it easy for anybody to criticise anybody, no matter how highly placed, freely without any fear of police brutality or incarceration. Until you do that, just prepare yourselves for prison beans, because one way or the other you or your colleagues go chop am.

1 Like

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by Basic123: 9:29am On May 16
Journalists should stop reporting RUBBISH!



JOURNALISTS should stop reporting FAKE NEWS!


JOURNALISTS should stop receiving brown envelopes to push a particular false Narratives




JOURNALISTS should stop Behaving like a member of particular party on tweeter/Facebook and be posing like neutral unbiased analyst on TV programs


These affect all media houses:
TVC
THE NATION
ARISE TV
THIS DAY NEWSPAPER
CHANNELS
SUN NEWSPAPER
INFO RADIO OR WHATEVER ABUJA
ETC



A JOURNALIST THAT PUBLISH A FALSE REPORT IS NOT DIFFERENT FROM A DOCTOR THAT MISMANAGED A PATIENT. IF THE LATTER CAN BE ARESTED AND FACE THE LAW,WHO ARE YOU JOURNALISTS?

YOU TOO SHOULD STOP USING YOUR MEDIA OR HARRASS AND MISINFORM THE PUBLIC.
WE CAN SAY BECAUSE WE HATE THE GOVERNMENT AND WE SHOULD BE TOLERATING YOU PEOPLE EXCESSESS TOO!
Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by Klington: 9:31am On May 16
Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by oluseyiforjesus(m): 9:38am On May 16
No comment
Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by iwaeda: 9:41am On May 16
Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by ZaddyJ: 9:42am On May 16
treesun:


https://punchng.com/tinubu-egbetokun-stop-harassing-journalists/
Dont they know that Tinubu was a beneficiary of military regim ? His first elective position as a politician and a senator was during the babangida era so it is not a question of where did Tinubu learn to intimidate journalists in this time and age. He was a product of political bullying a craft he learnt from the military regime

4 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by zoomzoom(m): 9:53am On May 16
[quote author=Inobeyourmate post=129979757]I know say some mumu go dry here to say bad things about Tinubu, but una no go ever criticise people or do I even say your brothers from the east wet dey always give out fake news to the public, all these obedients no just dey get brain, anyways, e no dey move me again since una don dey root for same Atiku wey una pass anything, since he don dey romance Pitobi now, he don turn saint. Nah eleriibu una be 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣.

How does this your NONSENSE talk relate to the topic under discuss or must you drag the EAST, OBIDIENTS and Peter OBI into this very objective editorial written by a NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF REPUTE?.

OGBENI BE CAREFUL OHH!!.

4 Likes

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by bhella10: 9:54am On May 16
Freedom of speech dey
Freedom after speech is however not sacrosanct grin
Continue the good work IG
Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by omojeesu(m): 10:06am On May 16
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: Tinubu, Egbetokun, Stop Harassing Journalists - Punch Editorial by theredaddy: 10:08am On May 16
ozijay:
Don't complain now Oga, when we tried not to allow these underworld dawgs to take power you people left us on the spotlight alone oya face the consequences. It's even good so that everybody will learn serious lessons.



Humans are unpredictable, even pikin wey you born you can't predict what he/she will turn out to be, how much more a total stranger that you've never met

All these politicians are the same, they just decieve us in different ways .. did peter obi not visit Atiku recently

1 Like

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