Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria has slammed the government of the President Muhammadu Buhari “for finding obscene satisfaction in violently denying media workers their rights to practice their legitimate duties.”
HURIWA said this in a statement on Sunday by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the Director of Media Affairs, Miss. Zainab Yusuf as they condemned the assault and arrest of Punch reporter, Solomon Odeniyi, by armed policemen attached to the Federal Capital Territory Police Command.
Odeniyi was arrested at the Dunamis Church where he had gone to cover an event on Sunday
The group described the arrest as “totally absurd, crude, primitive, reprehensible,” adding that it is “an indescribable and egregious assault to the constitutional democracy that we claim to be practising.”
The statement read in part, “We call on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to order the release of the PUNCH correspondent and we ask the government to stop all kinds of coordinated attacks against media freedoms and media practitioner,s because the media is an essential element of constitutional democracy without which we will slide into anarchy and tyranny of one man’s brute force and dictatorial oppression and suppression of the fundamental human rights of the citizens of Nigeria who, by law made clear in the Constitution by virtue of section 14, are the owners of the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and who have donated the legitimacy to government officials to exercise authority for a tenured period after which they must hand over to another set of elected officials who have the mandate of the people of Nigeria.”