The network also condemned the harassment and intimation of media personnel by the military under the guise of security measures.
The Human Rights Agenda Network, HRAN, condemns the clampdown on the media noting that it contradicts principles of democracy, and freedom of information and speech.
The network also condemns harassment and intimation of media personnel by the military under the guise of security measures, noting that such aberrations are only obtainable in a tyrannical set-up which this government has repeatedly claimed to abhor.
HRAN notes that the argument of the military that the media are culpable in the security challenges facing the country is not supported by any evidence neither is there any logical inference to support the clamp-down policy.
HRAN understands that the security challenges facing the country is and should be a concern to every Nigeria, but notes that caution and judicious discretion must be exercised to ensure that the counter-insurgency policies of the military and security agencies are not counterproductive, anti-human rights or targeted against the wrong persons or for wrong reasons.
HRAN notes that most exceptions to the rule of law apply in state of emergency/for security reasons, but find the instant case absurd as no clear explanation linking the media to the activities of the insurgents have been proffered by the military.
HRAN recalls that there have been allegations of involvement with the Boko Haram sect, levelled against some persons in Nigeria and yet no concrete action has been taken to address such allegations. HRAN understands that the current leadership of this nation is swamped with efforts to address insurgency in Nigeria, but maintains that such efforts must be tactical and channelled towards addressing the issue; and that is not the case in the instant case.
HRAN reminds the federal government of the importance of the media in any democratic setting and the need to show its commitment to democracy by observing the citizens’ right/freedom of information and expression. While noting that the allegations against the media in the instant case are unfounded, the network, nevertheless, cautions the media to desist from any act or expression that could indict them in the on-going fight against insurgency in the country, noting that the media can and should team up with the government and its security agencies to fight the insurgency.