Nigerian government continues to send fear into the hearts of Nigerians. The government continue to wage vicious crackdown on free speech. The space for independent activism, critical journalism, and opposition political activity in Nigeria is extinguished .So many persons have been arrested in recent times to silence their voices using politically motivated criminal charges. Last week officers of the Nigerian Police stormed the home of a Journalist and blogger, Kemi Olunloyo and whisked her away to the Oyo state Criminal Investigation Department office in Ibadan from where she was driven to Port Harcourt, charged to court for cybercrime and remanded in prison for her post about Pastor David Ibiyeomie on social media.

YARPTI is against fake news for we know that Nigeria is operating social responsibility theory of communication where everyone is responsible for what he or she publishes either good or bad but we believe that arresting Olunloyo and taking her from Ibadan to Port Harcourt for what she posted on social media is excessive. There is legal avenue that anybody who felt a fake news was making the rounds about him or her could take against the perpetrator(s). Since the police know the location of Olunloye, a civil case could have been instituted against her for publishing fake news rather than bundling her like a hardened criminal. A wrong opinion may contain a grain of truth which will lead to finding the whole truth.

We are calling on the Nigerian authorities to stop this vicious crackdown on free speech in the country. No one should drag Nigeria back to the era of military jackboot absolutism with its associated abuse of the fundamental rights of the people to freedom of expression, among others. Nigeria is not a Police State and it is not a banana republic.

Also Delta State-born journalist and activist, Tega Samson Oghenedoro popularly known as Fejiro Oliver has been arrested over anti-corruption protest against former Governor Uduaghan . He was arrested on Thursday 16th March, 2017 in Uyo by men of the Nigeria Police Force from the Delta State Police Command and driven to Delta.

We call on political and religious leaders in Nigeria to stop abusing human rights with impunity.We strongly condemn the arrest and detention of these two Nigerian Journalists: Kemi Olunloyo and Fejiro Oliver and demand for their immediate and unconditional release.

It’s down to the human rights community to make sure political and religious leaders don’t abuse their powers. If politicians and pastors or Imam continue using the police and the court to shut people up in a democracy where is the hope for the common man? The detention of the 2 Journalists in Nigeria is a bad omen .We say NO to any form of civilian dictatorship.

Free Kemi Olunloyo and Fejiro Oliver now !!! .Please share this message widely

Join YARPTI in taking action.
Kenneth Uwadi