3.7.06

Freedom of speech….

as far as I'm concerned, is a God-given right for all men to enjoy.

So it is a big shame when the Nigerian government chooses to charge 2 journalists with sedition. Their crime?

Rotimi Durojaiye: wrote an article on June 12th 2006, in which he questioned the cost and age of President Olusegun Obasanjo's newly acquired presidential plane. In part, his article was justified. The 'new' plane had to make an emergency landing less than a month after purchase, due to a loss in cabin pressure.

Gbenga Aruleba: Discussed this article on his TV show. Seriously. That's all he did.

 

Durojaiye, Aruleba, and their colleagues after their bail hearing

It's comical, if the same standards were applied in the UK, then Piers Morgan would be rotting in jail for publishing fake photos of British soilders abusing Iraqis, and half the British press would be in prison with him. Having read the article, it's a shame that the government decided to go down this route, instead of presenting evidence that the information in the article is false.

Ahead of elections next year, people believe that this move is sending a signal to the media, that the government will not take any criticism whatsover. However, I believe this entire episode in Nigerian history is a case of 'one step forward, two steps backwards', and that fact that it is happening under a 'civilian' leader is all the more disheartnening.

I for one have been very critical of the British press for going too far at times, but even taking things to the extreme as British tabloids sometimes do, cannot justify this kind of behaviour !!

2 comments:

  1. Such a shame. But perhaps news of this behavior will get out and bring them much-deserved bad press. How was your weekend, Boso? How's Abi doing with the baby?

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  2. its a shame bro..the freedom of the press is key to the functioning of a democracy.especially in corrupt ones..hope the situation gets better and the government will get their just rewards in the coming elections!

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