Fidelity bank card banner Camano banner

RIGHTSView: MILITARY REPRESSION OF PRESS FREEDOM UNACCEPTABLE

By Emmanuel Onwubiko on 25/06/2014

Views: 2,550


What will the Federal Government tell all those in the riotous crowd of irrational public who take delight in lynching any suspected criminal? The actions of the Nigerian military in stopping media houses from reaching their readers with their newspapers and at the same time bring up some irrational and spurious arguments to justify these outrageous and primitive acts of mischief is like the action of the serial rapist who while committing the atrocity of rape and sexual violation of the victim may be thinking that he is deriving maximum pleasure from this infamy not until he is either called to order by subjecting his to the heavyweight of the law or he may as well continue in these atrocious acts believing that might is right.

It is in the self enlightened interest of the current Federal administration that everything is done to preserve, promote, protect and project fundamental freedoms and especially the essential elements of media freedoms and freedom of speech. Under the obligation to fulfill, States such as the Nigerian state are required to take positive action to ensure that human rights can be exercised. In respect of the right to free speech, government must enforce all legal and policy frameworks to enhance the lawful activities of media workers to be able to carry out their constitutional duty of enlightenment, education, entertainment and providing quality information to the citizenry because these are some of the measures to promote and preserve good governance and liberal democracy [Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended].

Those who should know have severally documented a voluminous body of knowledge to let us into the most essential fact that Article 2[3] of the international covenants on civil and political rights states that states parties undertake to ensure that among others, any person [including legal entity such as the Nigerian military] claiming such a remedy for any of their rights violated shall have an effective remedy and that persons claiming such a remedy must have their right thereto determined by the competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the state, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedies. The Nigerian State has already codified legal mechanism for seeking legal remedy for any abridgement of rights. The Nigerian Military is obliged to respect the constitutional provisions by avoiding the trappings of embarking on self help measures such as confiscating forcefully, printed newspapers whenever the officers perceive that certain materials injurious to their persons or offices are published. 

Manfred Nowak, an internationally respected human rights scholar, has a message for the Nigerian military especially in these periods of counter terrorism war and it goes thus; “Our response to terrorism, as well as our efforts to thwart it and prevent it, should uphold the human rights that terrorists aim to destroy. Respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are essential tools in the effort to combat terrorism-not privileges to be sacrificed at a time of tension.” These words printed in one of the works of Manfred Nowak were the precise thoughts of the erstwhile Secretary General of the United Nations Mr. Kofi Anan in his speech during a special meeting of the Security Council’s counter terrorism committee with international, regional and sub-regional organisations on March 6th 2003.

The Nigerian Government must stop justifying acts of irrational attacks against the media by the military because the implication is that if they succeed in muzzling the press which is a strategic tool for sustaining the current democratic experiments then they will go for the jugulars of the civilian administrators of Nigeria who were democratically elected. Section 22 and section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 [as amended] as I said are very clear on the fundamental freedoms guaranteed to both the media and the citizenry regarding freedom of information. 

The most interesting dimension of all these acts of treachery by the Nigerian Military is that these criminal acts are all happening right under the nose of these same civilian leaders who were elected by the people in line with the constitution which is now being raped by the Nigerian military. The military is also an institution and a creation of the constitution and so I am shocked that in this twenty first century Nigeria, that the military seeks to take us back to the medieval period whereby the emperors elevate their selfish interests to the supreme laws of their respective constituencies. The Nigerian Government must caution these military operatives to stop taking the laws into their hands and to seek for legal redress if they perceive that the media has violated any of their legal interest but it is certainly not against national security interest for the media to focus on some acts of suspected corruption that may have happened in the military since no institution in Nigeria is above the law.

As my Igbo people use to say please let President Jonathan remove the hands of the monkey from the soup before they change to human hands. The media must be given their fundamental freedoms to carry out their constitutional duty by check mating those who are put in public offices who should discharge their respective duties in line with the tenets and letters of the law and the constitution which is the grund norm of the land and which must be respected by all and sundry.

President Jonathan must guard jealously his administration's legacy of becoming the first government to have signed and begin the enforcement the Freedom of Information Act. It is also to the credit of Jonathan that the National Human Rights Commission became independent during his government. So why is he allowing these soldiers under his command to mess with his records of service to freedoms?

RIGHTSVIEW appears twice a week on Wednesday and Saturdays, in addition to special appearances. The Columnist, popular activist Emmanuel Onwubiko, is a former Federal Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and presently National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA).

Source News Express

Posted 26/06/2014 01:51:46 AM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
NEC warns of poisoned chickens, fish imports; hints...

NDLEA confiscates 23.8 kg cannabis from Ebonyi community...

Fayemi accuses Fayose of squandering N18 billion

Senate abolishes Excess Crude Account, shuns probe of...

Elumelu to African Presidents: Develop policies to attract...

Lagos Govt. confirms closure of clinic implicated in...

Nigeria’s criminal justice system needs reformation: Osinbajo

Taraba killings: Police arrest 4 suspects

Jime charges ABU students: Do not throw away...

‘Boko Haram running out of weapons’ •Troops make...

Church shelters 1,500 fleeing Muslims

Nigerian Governors shun commercial airliners, waste billions of...

 

Latest News BREAKING: Dino Melaye spits fire as tribunal sacks him from Senate, orders fresh ballot Shocking revelations as Wadume testifies before Special Investigation Panel •More accomplices arrested German Government expresses ‘great concern’ over attack on Ekweremadu, vows to deal with perpetrators NAF bombers destroy Boko Haram Base in Sambisa Forest How Prof. Akintoye defeated Tinubu to emerge Yoruba Leader Angry youths block Enugu highway over abduction, killing of woman by herdsmen Governors give condition to refund N614b to FG Ifa deities angry with Nigerian leaders — Royal fathers UNILAG students invent life-saving flood level caution device Obono-Obla: Investigate accusations of interference against Osibanjo, HURIWA charges Buhari Doctors remove 10-cm nail from patient’s lungs 21 Oyo Kings: Appeal Court refers parties back to lower court

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (530,173 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (439,041 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (383,981 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (323,161 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (290,722 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (251,463 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (246,330 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (233,590 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (228,270 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (214,515 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (193,287 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (191,185 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (98) Business & Economy (4,404) Business Verdict (79) Columnists (1,097) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (215) Entertainment (648) Features (795) Global Business Monitor (422) ICT Monitor (58) International (3,856) Interview (198) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (166) Maggie's Blog (387) News (50,317) Opinion (1,329) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,334) Religion (1,085) Sports (2,134) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera