The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has slammed the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council over its alleged constant brazen attacks, threats, and negative labeling of the Nigerian media.
It was reported that the PDP was reacting to a terse statement issued by the APC Presidential Campaign Council over the Town Hall meeting organised by Arise News on Sunday.
In the statement, the APC Campaign lampooned the media outlet over its constant broadcast of an advertisement about the town hall meeting in which the party’s Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, had already declined participation.
Reacting in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, PDP spokesman, Debo Ologunagba berated the APC Presidential Campaign Council for the hostility and labelling of Arise News and the Nigerian media.
He said the action of the APC Campaign is an unpardonable display of intolerance, aversion, and hatred for the Nigerian media, saying that Nigerians are appalled by the action of the ruling party.
Ologungaba asserted that the action was part of its scheme to intimidate the media in Nigeria from carrying out its constitutional duty as stated in Section 22 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
He said the media is meant to provide Nigerians a legitimate and credible platform to examine, review and interrogate the policies and programmes of those aspiring to hold the office of the Nigerian President.
The statement reads: “The action of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign is an unpardonable display of intolerance, aversion, and hatred for the media and a direct affront to Section 22 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“This confirms apprehension by Nigerians of APC’s plot to discount critical sections of our Constitution to stifle the media, erode free speech, and foist a fascist system in our country.
The PDP invites Nigerians to observe that while asserting that the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has the right to “decide where he goes and events to participate in” the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign exposed its proclivity towards fascism by seizing the constitutional freedom of association of other Nigerians, particularly their spokespersons and supporters from exercising their right to appear in media or platform of their choice.
Nigerians know that Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign is desperate to shield Asiwaju Tinubu from answering questions on his numerous alleged issues.
The Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign should know that evading Media invitations at home in Nigeria and running to Chatham House in London cannot save Asiwaju Tinubu.
Nigerians are demanding that he should address them at home and not in London.
Our Party holds firmly that as the Fourth Estate of the Realm, the media has a duty under the Constitution to act as the watchdog of government, public officials, and those aspiring to hold public offices.
In that regard, every media platform in Nigeria has the obligation to ensure that those who aspire to public offices, especially the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, must make themselves available for the Nigerian people to examine, review and interrogate their policies and programmes for the nation.
Our fear is that the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign’s threats to the media are capable of inciting APC thugs against media practitioners and journalists in Nigeria and intimidating them from carrying out their constitutional duties.
The PDP draws the attention of the Inspector General of Police to the threat by the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign towards the media and take steps to ensure that the media has a conducive environment and freedom to discharge their duties to the nation.
Our Party charges the Media not to be intimidated, but remain firm and resolute within its professional ethics in the discharge of its duties, especially ahead of the 2023 general elections.”