A human rights and pro-democracy group, has called for the immediate resignation of the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Lai Muhammed for his consistent and undignified attempt to muscle the media in the country.
Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE) in a press briefing in Abuja, said the garrulous Minister should throw in the towel due to his anti-media, and anti-people disposition, which are official policies of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Government.
The group’s chairman, Board of Trustees ( BoT), Dede Uzor A,Uzor, said the Minister has outlived his usefulness and has nothing to offer to Nigeria again except deceptive and chronic lies.
He said imposing N3m fine on the private television stations in the country for showing the photo footages of the shooting of the defenceless youths at Lekki toll gate by people believed to be soldiers was undemocratic and repressive.
The chairman said the fine and threat by Muhammed Buhari to regulate the social media were all deliberate and calculated attempt to muzzle the media from playing its role as a watch dog of the society.
Dede called on the Minister and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to as a matter of urgency rescind the obnoxious fine placed on Channel television, AIT, and Arise television.
He said Muhammed’s insistence on regulating social media showed that the government is increasingly becoming intolerant and therefore paranoid about the media.
He said they apparently do not want the people and the world to know their anti-democratic tendencies.
“But it negates the constitution of the country to abridge the free speech. It will never see the light of the day. We will mobilise democratic forces to pull down their antics when the time comes” Dede Uzor said.
He therefore advised the APC controlled Federal Government to begin to offer good governance to the people of Nigeria, instead of the current mediocre, and ethnic based governance.
He called on international media organisations, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), to rise against the plot to stifle the media.