Soldiers have vacated the office of DailyTrust in Abuja. The development follows an order given by the President on Sunday that the officers should vacate the premises.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu in a tweet said the President gave the order, saying the issues between the military and the newspaper as they affect the coverage of the war in the Northeast will be resolved through dialogue and not violence.
The military had earlier invaded and shut down the offices, while also whisking away two members of staff. Explaining the reason for their action, the Defence Spokesman, John Agim, said the medium had published information about the military’s counter-insurgency plans which it believes can further threaten the peace and security of the nation.
Meanwhile, several Civil Society Organizations and opposition leaders have condemned the invasion. Amnesty International, said the Nigerian authorities have obligation to protect freedom of the press as provided by the constitution & International human rights laws.
SERAP in its condemnation said an attack on Dailytrust offices and arbitrary arrest of their reporters, is an attack on Nigerians’ freedom of expression and media freedom and an affront to basic principles of human rights and rule of law central to democracy.
The presidential candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar while reacting, said freedom of the press is the bedrock of the nation’s democracy and nothing should be done to compromise it.