The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has described the military siege on Daily Trust offices in Maiduguri, Lagos and Abuja as an unfortunate threat to press freedom and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday night by IPAC, the umbrella body of all political parties in Nigeria.
According to its Media Committee Secretary, Akinloye Oyeniyi, “we heard the Federal Government has already ordered their vacation from the premises but truth be told, what happened is condemnable and anti-democratic.”
He added that “The role of the press as the watchdog of the nation is stipulated in Chapter II Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution, so all agencies of the mass media should at all times be free to uphold this statutory duty insofar the constitution is still in force.
“Therefore, due to the sensitivity of this period, as the umbrella body of all the registered political parties in the country, we are calling on the military, Police and paramilitary agencies to be as civil as demanded of their respective roles as we go into the polls and even beyond so as to enable the nation consolidate on the current democracy.”
The political pressure group urged all security agencies to channel and resolve their grievances through appropriate regulatory bodies whenever they have issues with the media.