Jonathan, Atiku, US, NGE, others condemn bombings of media houses

By IndepthAfrica
In Nigeria
Apr 26th, 2012
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President Goodluck Jonathan has reiterated his administration’s determination to overcome the security challenges facing the nation even as he enjoined the press not to be deterred by the offensive against it.

In a statement yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President on Communications, Dr Reuben Abati, the president reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to continue to uphold the constitutional right to freedom of expression in general and of press freedom in particular, pledging that criminal elements bent on instilling fear in the minds of Nigerians and foreigners will not succeed.

President Jonathan commiserated with the bereaved families and other innocent victims of the explosions, and also prayed that Almighty God will grant them succour in their moment of grief and the souls of the departed, peaceful repose.

South South Governors
“We totally condemn the bomb attacks on the premises of the ThisDay Newspaper in Abuja and Kaduna State. It’s barbaric, cowardly and condemnable. “We call on security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of this heinous crime and bring the full weight of the law to bear on them,” they stated.

The statement was signed by Governors Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State; Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State; Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State; Liyel Imoke of Cross River State; Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State.

An attack against freedom of speech – NGE
The Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, also condemned the attacks describing them as attacks against freedom of speech.
“When you attack the media the way ThisDay attacks were done, freedom of speech, expression and thought come under assault and democracy is threatened,” the NGE said in a statement by its President, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye.

“We commiserate with the ThisDay newspapers and the families of those who lost their lives in the attacks. We call on the media to be vigilant and not to be intimidated. The media should continue to promote dialogue, not violence and self help, as the basis for resolution of conflicts. Nigeria does not deserve to be turned into the Latin America of the fascists era where disdainful attempts were made to cow the press. Our press is our strength and no one should destroy it through violence.”

US denounces  attacks
The United States has also condemned the bomb attack against Thisday newspaper that killed eight people, saying that the attacks targeted “free speech itself.”

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said it was up to Nigeria to determine the culprits of the attacks but voiced solidarity with concerns about Boko Haram, an Islamist group that has purportedly threatened media. “This is an attack not only on innocent people but on free speech itself in Nigeria and we call for a full investigation holding those responsible to account,” Nuland told reporters.

The bombed This Day office, Abuja

Lagos NUJ reacts
In a statement by its chairman, Comrade Deji Elumoye, described the attack as “devilish and barbaric”.
Elumoye urged President Goodluck Jonathan to live up to his oath of office and safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerians.

Fashola condoles ThisDay,  Sun Publishers
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola expressed sadness over the bombings. Governor Fashola, who condemned both attacks in outright terms, also condoled with the Management of the ThisDay and Sun newspapers over the bomb attacks, which reportedly claimed several lives while scores sustained varying degrees of injury in both locations.

Orji Kalu condoles with Obaigbena
A former Governor of Abia State and Publisher of The Sun newspapers, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has condemned the attacks on the offices of Thisday and The Sun newspapers in Abuja and Kaduna.

Kalu, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media), Mr. Emeka Obasi, said it is an unfortunate development that the media could become the focus of attack of those who do not want the progress of the country.

Atiku condoles Thisday, Sun, NPAN, NUJ
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar described attacks on media Houses as a dangerous dimension to the activities of Boko Haram in the country, just as he urged the Federal Government to be more creative in tackling the menace.

According to a statement from his media office yesterday, the former Presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP also expressed his sympathy and solidarity with the Sun Newspapers, whose Kaduna office was affected in the attacks , the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN and the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ over the dastardly act.

Senator Ifeanyi Okowa
Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who represented ThisDay publisher, Nduka Obaigbena in the senate also condoled with him on the attack.

Lagos CP orders tight security around media houses
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko yesterday ordered tight security in and around media houses in the state. To effect the order, the CP has mandated  Divisional Police officers, DPOs, and Area Commanders to ensure that adequate personnel were detailed to all the media houses in Lagos; warning that the command would not entertain any security lapses.

IPI condemns bombings of media houses
The Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute, IPI, yesterday, said it received with shock and disbelief, the news of the bombing of ThisDay newspapers office in Abuja and The Sun offices in Kaduna.

A statement signed by Chairman, IPI Nigerian National Committee, Kabiru Yusuf, and secretary, Raheem Adedoyin, said the attacks were not only murderous, they were totally unprovoked.

The statement said: “We condemn this onslaught against the free press; we reject this attempt to muzzle the Nigerian media. IPI Nigerian chapter urges the media not to be intimidated by this dastardly act.

“We send our condolences to ThisDay and The Sun Newspapers and to the families of the victims of the bombing. We urge our media houses to be more alert and take stringent measures to protect the lives of journalists and other workers as well as to secure their properties.”Vanguard

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