Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has accused the government of President Muhammadu of muzzling press freedom.
Atiku, in a statement in celebration of World Press Freedom Day on Monday, lamented that the media had suffered at the hands of the Buhari government in the last few years.
He said: “The celebration of World Press Freedom Day suggests a twin notion of an independent media and freedom of expression, which is enshrined as a fundamental human right. These two notions have been acknowledged to be indispensable in the working of democracy.
“A democracy without press freedom is like having fanciful machinery without an energy source to power it.
“And just as our experience in Nigeria, especially in the past few years has shown, democracy becomes an immobile concept when press freedom and freedom of expression are trampled upon,” he said.
According to Atiku, “the ability of the media to report stories without fears of clampdown and intimidation and the ability of the people to freely express their thoughts responsibly has come under persistent haemorrhage by the current administration in Nigeria.
“When the voice of the people is repressed in a democracy, the natural tendency is a disconnect between the people and government. In such a situation, good governance is compromised, and the effects of bad governance begin to assume more significant manifestations.”
He added: “While I congratulate the Nigerian Press on the milestone it has attained through the years, more so in the enthronement of democracy in the country, I wish to urge the media to continue to be the pathfinder in our unrelenting quest for a more prosperous and progressive nation.”