Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has called on the media to defend Nigerians who are suffering untold hardship under the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.
He said this during a courtesy visit by the Management of the International Press Institute (IPI) at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
He said: “The Nigerian Press should wake up. The Nigerian Press presently speaks for the rich. It no longer speaks for the poor. The focus now is advertorial, instead of defending the people.
“The press in Nigeria has been gagged. The Press that was at forefront of ‘Jonathan Must Go’ can no longer speak up against bad governance, electoral manipulation, electoral fraud and total collapse of national security. What has happened to the conscience of the Nigerian Media?”
Wike lamented that the same press that joined some prominent Nigerians to fight the partial removal of petroleum subsidy under Former President Goodluck Jonathan, had maintained a deafening silence under President Muhammadu Buhari when the entire fuel subsidy was removed in controversial circumstances.
The governor added that despite the controversies and inconsistencies that had trailed the alleged total removal of fuel subsidy, there were no calls for occupy Nigeria in the media.
He insisted that the APC Federal Government planned to use illegal means to manipulate the electoral process.
The governor said that in Rivers State, the Police High Command rewarded Mr Akin Fakorede, who was indicted by the INEC Committee on Rivers Rerun, for massive electoral fraud.
He said: “It is good that the International Press Institute is coming to Nigeria to see the injustice and illegality that characterise the present administration.
“There is no image for Nigeria to launder. We need the world to know what is happening in the country. The World through the IPI will know the nature of the war against corruption where the Federal Government convicts opponents who are still before the courts.
“The world through the IPI will also know how if you don’t want to be a corrupt man, enter the ruling party. It is good for IPI to come to Nigeria to see the atrocities that the Federal Government is committing.”