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Nigerian President Not Restricting Press Freedom – Garba Shehu

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President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is resolutely committed to press freedom and his administration will ensure that media personnel in the country discharge their duties without let or hindrance.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Shehu Garba said this in a statement.
Shehu said it was very uncharitable for anyone or group to suggest otherwise or infer that Buhari was in support of restrictions on freedom of expression and the media.

On the issue of the arrest and continued detention of Mr Jones Abiri, who allegedly parades himself as a journalist, by the Department of the State Services it is instructive to note that the accused is a guest of the security agency because of his alleged involvement in militant and criminal activities.

Admittedly he said the issue of Mr Abiri had been brought to the attention of the Presidency by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

As a true believer in the rule of law and the integral role of the media in a democracy, the Presidency did interface with the security agency involved in the matter and findings confirmed that the suspect is in custody because of alleged involvement in pipeline vandalism and theft.

Mr Abiri he said is not a registered journalist with any of the media professional bodies in the country.
There is no evidence of his belonging to any chapel or membership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists or payment of the union’s check-off dues.

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