The Peoples Democratic Party, yesterday, accused the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government of attempting to silence and deny the media of its rights to free speech.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said this in a statement titled, “Nigeria Info: PDP Condemns Media Clampdown by APC FG,” in Abuja while reacting to the N5 million fine handed to Nigeria Info for airing views expressed by former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadiah Mailafia.
The statement read, “The Peoples Democratic Party has condemned the renewed clampdown on the media and gagging of free speech in our country by the All Progressives Congress -led Federal Government.
“The party insists that, without prejudice to the allegations or claims the Federal Government has against Nigeria Info, a broadcast station, on issues of content, the Federal Government cannot, on its own, impose sanctions against a media house or individuals for expressing their right to free speech.
“The PDP holds that if any anybody, be him the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a state governor, a Senator of the Federal Republic, a Member of the House of Representatives, a public entity, or even the most ordinary Nigerian, have been libeled or infringed upon by any other Nigerian, the process for redress is clearly stated in the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and should be followed.
“As a party, the PDP stands against draconian methods or underhand measures which this administration has set out to gag the media and erode the rights of Nigerians as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“Our party holds that due process must be followed for redress in instances where violations are alleged and not by extra judicial sanctions and clampdown on the media, as being witnessed under the APC administration.
“The PDP, standing in solidarity with Nigerians, therefore condemns any attempt to gag the media and asks the APC federal government to rescind its draconian actions and reverse to due process, as provided by the 1999 Constitution, in handling issues relating to the freedom of the media.”