The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has released a statement reacting to the news of the expulsion of the state house correspondent of Punch newspaper, Olalekan Adetayo, from the state house Abuja by the Chief Security Officer of President Buhari, Bashir Abubakar. Adetayo who has already been recalled to the state house, was Monday expelled over a report he wrote that was published in the Sunday April 23rd edition of the newspaper.
The report centered on the failing health of President Buhari.
In a statement released Tuesday, PDP says the expulsion of the Punch reporter shows that Nigeria is tilting towards full blown dictatorship. Read the statement below….
“Yesterday, April 24, 2017, we received the news on the expulsion of Olalekan Adetayo, the Punch Newspaper Reporter and Chairman of Press Corps at the Presidential Villa by Abubakar Bashir, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to President Muhammadu Buhari but it did not come to us as a surprise given that the Nation is gradually tilting towards full blown dictatorship. Adetayo’s offense we heard, was his report by the weekend titled: “Fresh anxiety at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa over Buhari’s health”.
The PDP acknowledges Mr. President’s health challenges; and as a human being and an elder Statesman, we quite understand the need for him to have adequate rest and continuous medical attention. We are therefore not too surprised that the President has not in recent times been able to fully face the rigours of government and has to make very rare public appearances. This is pretty obvious to all Nigerians. The Punch Story is therefore nothing extraordinary. It merely reflects what Nigerians already know with perhaps a little bit of speculative license. It therefore should not have elicited the extreme reaction from the President’s Chief Security Officer. The Media as the fourth estate of the realm is an important pillar of any democracy. Any attempt to gag the Press in whatever guise is an abridgment of the rights of the people and a direct assault on our hard earned democracy.
We therefore totally condemn the action of the President’s CSO. He must realize that we are in a democracy and not military dictatorship. It is also revealing and shows the lack of synergy in the Villa that a reporter will be expelled without the knowledge or concurrence of the President’s Adviser on Media Relations. For the umpteenth time, we want to re-iterate that Nigerians deserve to know the health condition of their President.
No one has the right or power to hide the President behind the curtain while dishing out instructions to Nigerians in the name of the President. We join all well meaning Nigerians to wish the President a speedy recovery and pray that the Lord Almighty will grant all that is required for him to fulfill his responsibilities to our dear Country”.