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Saturday, 26 March 2016

ARE JOURNALISTS SAFE IN NIGERIA?

ARE JOURNALISTS SAFE IN NIGERIA?

By Chima Onyekachi

For Family Writers


The above question is not to frighten anyone or to raise a false alarm but with the current dictatorial government of President Muhammadu Buhari the African Hitler, that question needs to be asked. Recently, a team of soldiers reportedly from the 144 Battalion, Asa, Ukwa West local council, Abia State, invaded a newspaper office along St. Michael’s Road, Aba and seized copies from vendors. The soldiers, who arrived in two Hilux vans in the area which serves as the hub of newspaper business in Aba, arrived as early 7am, packed the papers and vowed to arrest those behind the newspapers. The newspapers they confiscated were New Republic, Vesym, Freedom Journal and some copies of Authority newspapers that carried Biafra stories.

In July 2015, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, assured journalists that his administration would uphold the freedom of the press, in order to deepen the nation’s democracy. Buhari made the promise through his Senior Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Femi Adesina, at the triennial National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abuja.  But that has turned out to be another failed promise synonymous with his administration.

Muhammadu Buhari the African Hitler, has never been a lover of freedom of the press. In 1984,after forcefully overthrowing a democratic government in a bloody coup, Buhari passed Decree Number 4, the Protection Against False Accusations Decree, which was considered by scholars as the most repressive press law ever enacted in Nigeria. Section 1 of the law provided that “Any person who publishes in any form, whether written or otherwise, any message, rumor, report or statement […] which is false in any material particular or which brings or is calculated to bring the Federal Military Government or the Government of a state or public officer to ridicule or disrepute, shall be guilty of an offense under this Decree”.

The law further stated that offending journalists and publishers will be tried by an open military tribunal, whose ruling would be final and un-appealable in any court and those found guilty would be eligible for a fine not less than 10,000 naira and a jail sentence of up to two years. Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor of The Guardian newspaper were among the journalists who were tried under the decree.


Muhammudu Buhari the African Hitler, who lied that he is a repented democrat, has given directive to the Islamic armed forces to clampdown on Biafra news publications. The military claimed that the seized newspapers and magazines were inciting hate which is a blatant lie.

Family Writers, whom are the Biafran journalists in the forefront in the struggle for the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra, are brave and courageous young men and women. Voluntarily, these groups of journalists are working tirelessly and with the truth. The clampdown on Biafra news publications is a direct threat to the safety of Biafran journalists, and we are aware but not frightened.

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