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Anti-graft war: Group applauds Nigeria’s Online news Publishers

By Eric Ojo

newspaper_onlineThe Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), a coalition of civil society groups, has applauded the fast growing online news media industry in Nigeria for their objectivity and uncompromising disposition towards issues of national interest.

The group, a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organizations, said its support for online media publishers was premised on their apparently consistent, objective and independent position in the reportage of national issues.

CSNAC therefore commended them and several other stakeholders and activists in the Nigeria project, particularly for courageously exposing corruption, ineptitude and human rights abuses in private and public institution as well as holding government and its officials accountable.

“The right of Nigerians to know is one that should never be undermined at any time. We support these media as they continue to expose corruption, ineptitude and human rights abuses in private and public institutions”, the group said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju.

Their efforts, according to the statement, are geared towards ensuring Nigerians make objective decisions on issues that impact on their daily lives.

The statement also observed that the Nigerian government, through the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, recently accused the online media, specifically Premium Times and Sahara Reporters, of publishing online reports deliberately contrived to undermine military strategy, demoralise Nigerian troops and even cause incitement to mutiny.

This was said, according to the statement, in reaction to the series of factual reports by Premium Times exposing the government’s neglect of the Nigerian troops in Mali as well as the violations of security forces confronting Boko Haram’s brutal insurgency.

“The minister has insinuated in his statements that the government is contemplating some forms of regulation in the use of social media for reportage. We wish to state that the Freedom of expression is a fundamental right guaranteed by Nigeria’s Constitution and any attempt by the government to censor news media is an outright breach of this right in violation of not only the Constitution but all international treaties ratified by Nigeria”, the statement stressed.

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