Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has accused the government of President Muhammadu Buhari of clamping down on the media and intimidating citizens from expressing their thoughts freely.
Atiku made the allegation on Monday in a series of tweets on his Twitter handle, @atiku, in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day.
This comes barely 24 hours after Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Service issued a statement, threatening to deal with Nigerian who, in their view, abuse the right of freedom of speech.
According to Atiku, when the people’s voice is repressed in a democracy, it would bring about disconnection between them and the government. In such a situation, good governance is compromised, and the effects of bad governance begin to assume more significant manifestations, he added.
The former vice president tweeted, “The celebration of World Press Freedom Day suggests a twin notion of an independent media and freedom of expression, which is enshrined as a fundamental human right.
“These two notions have been acknowledged to be indispensable in the working of democracy. A democracy without press freedom is like having fanciful machinery without an energy source to power it.
“And just as our experience in Nigeria, especially in the past few years has shown, democracy becomes an immobile concept when press freedom and freedom of expression are trampled upon.
“The ability of the media to report stories without fears of clampdown and intimidation and the ability of the people to freely express their thoughts responsibly has come under persistent haemorrhage by the current administration in Nigeria.
“When the voice of the people is repressed in a democracy, the natural tendency is a disconnect between the people and government. In such a situation, good governance is compromised, and the effects of bad governance begin to assume more significant manifestations.”