Clampdown on media portends grave danger to our democracy – Atiku

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ABUJA – Former Vice Atiku Abubakar has condemned clampdown on media houses, vendors and seizures of newspapers in transit for delivery by military personnel nationwide.

In a press issued by his media office in Abuja on , former Vice expressed worry at what he called “humiliating treatment of media houses and vendors in course of conducting their legitimate businesses nationwide.”

He reminded that Nigeria is a , and freedom of the press is a non-negotiable component of democratic .

 According to Atiku, since the military is above the law in any democratic , they should be the law onto themselves and recklessly infringe on the of citizens.

He explained that if the newspapers are engaged in any illegal activities that breach , there are avenues of dealing such situation without brazenly violating the of citizens.

He said thousands of Journalists, drivers, distributors, vendors and support staff are daily making a living from the newspaper industry, and therefore, the military personnel should them from earning a legitimate earning.

The former Vice also noted that the willful violations of citizens’ by military and personnel breach the tenets of democratic system.

He warned that by attacking the press, and arresting journalists, the country may inadvertently be slowing edging back to the dark days of military dictatorship, which took a lot of sacrifices by many including the Press to end.

 While condemning the excesses of the military, however, Atiku advised media organizations to also demonstrate the highest degree of by ensuring that what they publish didn’t endanger .

In the face of the grim challenges currently bedeviling Nigeria, the former Vice President also cautioned Journalists and media practitioners against abuses.

He stressed that the war on terror needs citizens’ and press’ cooperation, which may be hampered by the harassment of the press.

“The military and personnel should work harmoniously together in times of crises. Security require sacrifices and understanding from all Nigerians, and the Press are no exception.

“Our media men and women should at every turn, weigh the implications of everything they intend to publish, especially sensitive stories that could undermine ,” he said