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Atiku Condemns Media Clampdown Says It portends grave danger to our democracy

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the clampdown on media

houses, vendors and seizures of newspapers in transit for delivery by

military personnel nationwide.
In a press statement issued by his media office in Abuja on Saturday, the

former Vice President expressed worry at what he called the 'humiliating

treatment of media houses and vendors in the course of conducting their

legitimate businesses nationwide.'
He reminded that Nigeria is a democracy, and freedom of the press is a

non-negotiable component of democratic governments.

According to Atiku, since the military is not above the law in any

democratic society, they should not be the law onto themselves and

recklessly infringe on the rights of citizens.
He explained that if the newspapers are engaged in any illegal activities

that breach national security, there are avenues of dealing with such

situation without brazenly violating the rights of citizens.

The Turaki Adamawa said thousands of Journalists, drivers, distributors,

vendors and other support staff are daily making a living from the

newspaper industry, and therefore, the military personnel should not stop

them from earning a legitimate earning.
The former Vice President also noted that the willful violations of

citizens' rights by military and other security personnel breach the

tenets of democratic system.
He warned that by attacking the press, and arresting journalists, the

country may inadvertently be slowing edging back to the dark days of

military dictatorship, which took a lot of sacrifices by many including

the Press to end.
While condemning the excesses of the military, however, Atiku advised

media organizations to also demonstrate the highest degree of

responsibility by ensuring that what they publish didn't endanger national

In the face of the grim security challenges currently bedeviling Nigeria,

the former Vice President also cautioned Journalists and media

practitioners against abuses.
He stressed that the war on terror needs citizens' and press' cooperation,

which may be hampered by the harassment of the press.

'The military and other security personnel should work harmoniously

together in times of national crises. Security require sacrifices and

understanding from all Nigerians, and the Press are no exception.

'Our media men and women should at every turn, weigh the implications of

everything they intend to publish, especially sensitive stories that could

undermine national security,' he said.