Petition against threat to press freedom, peace & gross abuse of power by Gov.Ibikunle Amosun
Your Excellency:It is with the utmost sense of responsibility and concern that we hereby draw the attention of Your Excellency to the planned action of the Ogun State Government under the headship of Senator Ibikunle Amosun to abridge press freedom,
cause mayhem, disorder and wanton destruction of property in Ogun State.
We have it on good authority that, in continuation of his policy of persecution, hounding and intimidation of anything and anybody with a link to his immediate predecessor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Governor Amosun has perfected plans to demolish the structures, equipment and machineries of the Western Publishing Company Limited (WPCL), publishers of the Nigerian Compass and The Westerner magazine.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who Governor Amosun uses all state apparatuses enthrusted to him to fight and persecute, is one of the promoters of this newspaper house. There are other promoters who invested their resources from which hundreds of Nigerians earn their living.
Your Excellency, you would recall that this company, with state-of-the-art facilities and run by top flight professionals, was commissioned by your good self during your official visit to Ogun State in November, 2010.
Before giving effect to this planned demolition, Governor Amosun plans to deploy security personnel to illegally occupy the newspaper house and forcibly send away hundreds of workers in the company's employ.
The company at present, has in its employ, over 500 workers comprising of journalists, printers, IT specialists, engineers, accountants, and administrators - all of whom would be thrown into the already saturated labour market. In addition to those in direct employment in WPCL, thousands others indirectly earn their living from the continued existence of the company.
The planned onslaught of the Governor Amosun on WPCL was predicated on an orchestrated Report of a supposed Land Probe which, to all intents and purposes, was put together to witchunt Otunba Gbenga Daniel, alleged that the company did not pay for the full value of the land on which the company's facilities were built. Your Excellency, sir, even if that was the case (an allegation which we are already contesting in a High Court), is cancellation of C of O the just and rational thing to do? Why would a supposed shortfall of less than N20m be a justification for destroying an investment in excess of N1 billion? This is one case that will interest not just rational elements in Nigeria but the international community as well. And this is a major reason why the highest authorities in Nigeria must intervene to rein in the emerging fascism in Ogun State. For the backlash and reverberation of this latest in the serial abuse of state power by Governor Amosun will go far beyond Ogun State.
Since this matter is already in court, Governor Amosun should be prevailed upon to allow the court processes work out the resolution of this matter. We are no longer under military rule. This is a democracy where the rule of law, and not arbitrariness and lawlessness, is the groundnorm.
We thank you, Your Excellency, for your time and prompt action.