Accused of clampdown, Buhari says he’s proud of Nigerian media

President Muhammadu Buhari watching TV

President Muhammadu Buhari has saluted the Nigerian media, saying journalists have performed their duties diligently.

The president, who made his position known on his Twitter handle, @MBuhari, on Sunday, said he was always in touch with news from home when he travels outside the country.

Mr. Buhari left last week for the United Kingdon for a vacation.

President Buhari, whose picture was also posted in the tweet, specifically named Channels TV as one of his favourite television stations.

He said: “Wherever I am, I keep up with news from home. Channels TV is one of my favorites. I’m proud of what the Nigerian media are achieving.’’

The post came amid conflicting reports about the president’s health.

The presidency, on Saturday, denied reports suggesting Mr. Buhari had taken seriously ill or even passed away.

A spokesperson, Garba Shehu, described the reports as “evil rumours”.

He also described as false and untrue the report that the president was flown to Germany.

Mr. Shehu said, “He is alive and well! President Buhari is not magical. He cannot be holidaying in the UK and be in Germany, dead or alive at the same time.”

The president’s tweet is seen as aimed at dispelling rumours about his health, while also reassuring the public of his government’s relationship with the media.

The Buhari administration came under fire last week after police briefly detained two PREMIUM TIMES journalists.

Police said the journalists were arrested based on complaints filed by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

The arrests, following previous ones involving journalists from other organisations, sparked furious allegations of attempts by the government to gag the press.

President Buhari left Abuja for the UK on Thursday. He is expected to resume work on Feb. 6, 2017.

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