The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has praised newspaper publishers in Nigeria for standing in support of media freedom through a collective page one protest.
HURIWA also raised an alarm about the rash of anti-media and anti-people measures, policies and projects being systematically executed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the National Assembly aimed at crippling laws protecting rights to privacy of the citizens, the plethora of anti-media freedom legislations and actions being implemented by the central government.
This was contained in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, on Monday.
Recall that the headlines titled; ‘Information Blackout’ appeared on the front pages of dailies such as Punch, Vanguard, The Nation, ThisDay, Guardian, Daily Sun, sponsored by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, the Nigerian Guild of Editors and the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria.
The headlines posited that the NPC and NBC (Media) Act amendment bills being considered by the National Assembly were geared against press freedom and citizens’ right to information.
The statement read in part, “Every right thinking lover of freedoms globally should be exceedingly proud of the publishers of leading national dailies in Nigeria over the page one protest named ‘Information blackout’. lovers of democracy should resolutely stand with the Nigerian press in strong opposition to the misguided federal government’s funded amendments to the Nigerian Press Councils Act and the National broadcasting Commission’s media Act amendments bill before the National Assembly.
“We in the organized Civil Rights movement are opposed to the cocktails of coordinated attacks against media freedoms by the All-Progressive Congress-led central parliament.
“The Senator Ahmed Lawan-led lame duck senate and the Femi Gbajabiamila enslaved Federal House of Representatives, which is obviously the federal house of infamy will go down in history as appendages of a vicious dictatorial executive arm of government.”