The President Bola Tinubu-led government has been dragged by international human rights advocacy organisation, Amnesty International for revoking the accreditation of 25 journalists from covering the Aso Villa.
The rights group said the development is rather a big blow to press freedom in the country at this point in time.
Bahdstreetvibes reports that Amnesty International, in a statement, asserted that the Bola Tinubu Presidency, on 18 August 2023, withdrew the accreditation tags of some 25 journalists and media houses from covering the activities at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, on vague grounds of “security concerns and overcrowding of the press gallery area.”
In the statement issued by the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, said media freedom, media diversity, and the protection of journalists are a central part of the effective exercise of freedom of expression.
Sanusi said, “The media has a role and responsibility to convey information and ideas on matters of public interest and to make sure that the public has a right and the possibility to receive them.
“Nigeria is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which guarantee the right to freedom of expression and impose legal obligations on states to protect freedom of expression and information.
“The Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] also guarantees the right to freedom of expression, access to information and media freedom.
“Authorities should encourage and promote the enjoyment of human rights, including freedom of expression and media freedom, rather than restricting them.
“The arbitrary revocation of the journalists’ accreditations is inconsistent and incompatible with Nigeria’s international and constitutional human rights obligations and commitments.”
This platform understands that the affected include those from Vanguard newspaper; Galaxy TV; Ben TV; MITV; ITV Abuja; PromptNews, ONTV, and Liberty. Other media personnel affected by the withdrawal are mostly reporters and cameramen from broadcast, print, and online media outlets.