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Stop Threat To Clampdown On Cyber Journalism, Social Media, Aturu Warns FG

Ayo Balogun, Lagos

Activist, Bamidele Aturu has warned the Federal Government over its threat to clamp down on internet journalism in Nigeria.

Lagos Lawyer, Babatunde Aturu

Lagos Lawyer, Babatunde Aturu

Aturu, in a statement said the threat by the Federal Government to clampdown on internet journalism must be a source of concern for all who meant well for the nation’s democracy.

“I have waited this long for the Honourable Minister of Information to deny the reports credited to him. As he has not done so, one can safely conclude that the plan is in the pipelines.

“The government should be told plainly and in unmistakable terms that if it tries to gag the press, we will resist as vehemently as possible. We did not fight military despotism to end up with civilian autocracy,” he warned.

He stated that the right of the press to inform and educate the people was not only a constitutional right but an inalienable right that many Nigerians fought for with their lives and limbs to get enshrined in the Constitution.

“We will fight the government on the streets, in the courts, in the markets and even in Aso Rock if it dares. While I do not encourage irresponsible journalism, I have always argued that the law of sedition has no place in a democracy,” he stated.

Aturu said if the government is convinced that it had been misreported or misrepresented, it had the opportunity to present facts and figures to embarrass any journalist who fabricated facts or figures.

“This is why we have Ministries of Information and officials paid from the public treasury. When governments show irritation to stories in the media, it creates the impression that it has no ideas on how to govern.

My advice to the government is to leave Premium Times, Sahara Reporters and other cyber media alone.

“Our peoples are not fools. They know the difference between senseless journalism and responsible journalism. We don’t need the government to tell us the difference,” he stated.


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