President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday that he had not and would never approve the oppression and humiliation of journalists in the course of carrying out their legitimate duties.
Speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said since he was sworn in, he had not oppressed any media house or journalist on account of writing unfavourable reports about him or his government.
The presidential aide was reacting to a report by THE GUARDIAN newspaper comparing the Monday’s expulsion of The Punch reporter from the State House to the enforcement of decree 4 in the 80’s.
Shehu reiterated the president’s respect for the freedom of the press and his commitment to protecting its liberties at all times.
He explained that the headline of the story was misleading and mischievous as it sought to portray the president in a bad light with the “sinister” purpose of making him look like an enemy of the media.
Dismissing the report as sheer mischief, Shehu said it was wrong and improper to use the isolated incident to judge Buhari’s character as if he was responsible for the reporter’s expulsion.