Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the alleged blocking of an independent online newspaper by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Naija News reports that the Peoples Gazette had accused the Buhari administration of pressuring network service providers to cut off connections to its site.
Reacting in a post on Twitter, Atiku Abubakar noted that the battle for the democracy that Nigeria enjoys today was fought and won with the Nigerian media.
Atiku said: “I have received with concern, reports of technical censorship of @GazetteNGR, an independent online newspaper, ostensibly by agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria. This is not acceptable.
“Press freedom is not only a constitutionally guaranteed right but an integral component of democracy. The battle for the democracy that Nigeria enjoys today was fought and won with the Nigerian media standing in the frontline against anti-democratic forces.
“Sadly today, it seems as though our victory 22 years ago was half-won as there still exists oppressive tendencies of the past.
“As a Democrat and believer in press freedom, I denounce every attempt to gag the media in Nigeria.
“I do so because I know that our democracy is benchmarked on the principle of a republican government and that the people of Nigeria deserve to have access to information about the workings of the government.”
The Peoples Gazzette stated that the disruption of its services has become a weapon of choice for the Nigerian government in recent times.
“This disruption, we are increasingly learning from top federal sources, was based on a directive, from the Nigerian government to MTN, Glo Mobile and other telecom firms, that sought an immediate blacklist of our web address as well as all other alternative domain names.
“Our internal assessments and notes from our readers indicate a total restriction on our website for people connecting via MTN, Glo Mobile and Airtel, i.e.: a vast majority of Nigerian Internet users,” the online newspaper had stated.
At about 19:00 hrs local time on January 26, 2021, Peoples Gazette's website (https://t.co/wkUFy0ZN63) was hit by a coordinated disruption of service across all telecommunication networks in Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/mSOVfLGFtf
— Peoples Gazette (@GazetteNGR) January 27, 2021
Source: Naija News