Minister of information and culture for President Muhammadu Buhari regime, Lai Mohammed, has accused Nigerian media of bullying the regime.
“Whereas in many countries, the press is worried about being bullied by the government, Mr Mohammed said, “here in Nigeria, it is the government that has to contend with endless bullying by the press.”
The minister made this claim while speaking at the Nigerian Economic Summit, a statement by the ministry of information and culture said Tuesday.
Though Mr Mohammed was right in saying that “The Nigerian press has a rich history of holding power accountable,” his claim the media bullies the government is untrue.
The Buhari regime has been pushing to gag the Nigerian media and has continued to vehemently sponsor several bills to that effect at the national assembly.
In 2017, former Chief of Army Staff and now Nigeria’s ambassador to the Benin Republic, Tukur Buratai, clamped down on Premium Times for refusing to pull down a story about the Nigerian army.
For exposing how the son of Chief of Staff Ibrahim Gambari, Bolaji Gambari, runs a cabal in Aso Rock, the regime ordered telcos to block readers from accessing Peoples Gazette’s website.
In June, the regime banned Twitter for deleting a tweet in which Mr Buhari threatened a repeat of the civil war genocide against young Igbos in the South-Eastern part of the country, a development that was globally condemned as repressive and anti-democratic.
Last week during the #EndSARS anniversary, Nigerian police harassed and arrested journalists who covered the protest at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.
In the 2022 proposed budget, Mr Mohammed asked for millions to pay international and local media and influencers in exchange for pro-government propaganda.