The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has condemned the Sunday military invasion of the Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust newspaper, in Abuja, Borno and Lagos.
The NGE, in a statement by its President, Mrs. Funke Egbemode and Social/Publicity Secretary, Ken Ugbecihe, described the invasion of Daily Trust, by heavily armed soldiers and other security agencies as primitive and brutal, which does not have a place in the 21st century.
“The crude invasion, intimidation and arrest of journalists discharging their constitutional duties in the Maiduguri zonal office of the newspaper by heavily armed soldiers is not the type of story befitting the military in a democracy.
“The picture painted by this brutal and primitive incursion into the workplace of a media organisation in a democracy in the 21st Century does incalculable damage not only to the psyche of Nigerians, young and old, it also de-markets the country before the rest of the world.
“The Guild condemns this uncouth affront on Media Trust Limited and by extension on the Nigerian media by the military which has enjoyed very liberal reportage and partnership from the same media it is striving to muzzle.
“We demand the immediate and unconditional release of the arrested journalists. While we welcome the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has ordered the vacation of the premises of Trust Media Limited by the soldiers, we also demand an unreserved apology to the management of Media Trust by the military authorities.
“The explanation of the military that Media Trust breached the Official Secrets Act in its reportage of military operations against Boko Haram in its Sunday, January 6, 2018 edition hence jeopardised national security, is not enough justification for its action. If Media Trust is perceived to be in the breach of national security, there are democratic channels and means of dealing with such matters without offending the human rights of the journalists…”