They accuse Bola Tinubu of trying to stifle the news outlet and the Nigerian media and forcing it to dance to the candidate’s tune.
A joint statement by ThisDay and Arise Editors titled ‘Tinubu and THISDAY/ARISE Media Group and the Attack on Free Speech.” was sent to THE WHISTLER on Monday.
In the statement, the board of editors accused All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate Bola Tinubu of trying to stifle the news outlet and the Nigerian media and forcing it to dance to the candidate’s tune.
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The Board of Editors of ThisDay Newspaper and Arise News Channel also called on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to investigate and make public the report on Tinubu’s involvement in drug dealings in the United States 29 years ago.
The statement reads in part:
“In at least four separate press statements and interviews in the last three weeks, the APC PCC Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, and its Adviser on Strategic Communications, Mr Dele Alake, instead of factually responding to the issues or sending a petition to our Ombudsman, have variously accused the group of bias against its candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“They are wrong. Truth and the pursuit thereof, and the reporting of facts is no bias. The duo has taken unprofessionalism, recklessness, picayune politics and blackmail to a new art form.”
The statement added, “It is important to state that for national security, foreign policy, and national interest, any candidate aspiring to be the President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria should not shy away from media scrutiny concerning any link with drug trafficking, or be associated with anyone so involved, however tangentially.
“It is a national security question for which all patriots must seek answers: it goes to the heart of our nascent democracy and indeed our political stability. We need full and complete answers on the entire circumstances leading to the forfeiture.
“Nigeria cannot afford a Noriega moment despite some of the acrobatics of APC spokesmen trying to make light of forfeiture of funds linked to drug trafficking.
“Have the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) investigated this? We need their reports and clarity, one way or the other, in this most important national security question on the 2023 elections with implications for our democracy.”
The Board noted, “We also note that two senior APC campaign officials had separately requested that we move THISDAY Editor and columnist, Shaka Momodu, and The Morning Show co-host on ARISE News, Rufai Oseni, from their current positions to stop the attacks or get reprieve from a future Tinubu presidency.
“The Boards of Editors of THISDAY Newspapers and the ARISE News Channel would like to state without equivocation that we do not fire journalists because of their views. Facts are sacred and opinions free is the age-old dictum to which all free-thinking men subscribe. We allow our editors the freedom to air their opinions unfettered and have created The Office of the Ombudsman to take any complains and discipline any abuse of office by any of our staff members.”
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