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‘The press, radio, television and other agencies of mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people,’ Section 22 of the Nigerian 1999 amended Constitution states. But this is far from the reality in Nation-State of Nigeria, especially among the elite ruling class of Nigeria. Popular New York-based publisher and social critic, Dr MarkAnthony Nze has recently come under the radar and scrutiny of the Nigerian political class and various security agencies for his incessant onslaught against the corrupt system of Government and his various expository articles on the unscrupulous activities of those who swore to serve the masses.
Freedom of expression which is one of the fundamental human rights is being muzzled in Nigeria today and the intimidation and harassment faced by journalists and critics of the Nigerian government are becoming alarming. Any observer who has been keenly watching the activities of the Nigerian Government would whole-heartedly agree that the Federal Government and most state Governors are doing a terrible job with their posts.
Dr MarkAnthony Nze who took it upon himself to meticulously educate the masses on the high level of corruption, political jobbery, asinine dealings and nepotic administrations going on in the Government at various levels has recently received terrible threats on him and his organisation.
These threats which range from pressured intimidation, withdrawal of his freedom of movement to open death threats were generated due to some of his articles on some Nigerian South Eastern Governors and their method of leadership.
Politicians in Nigeria are known for their antics against journalists and those who do not fall in line with their corrupt whims and fancies. They have been known to instigate stringent laws against honest, undiluted journalism which exposes them whenever they are in the wrong. They tag these articles as ‘Hate speeches’ and the journalists as ‘Hate speech mongers’ who conjure up false facts to witch-hunt them.
The onslaught on Dr MarkAnthony Nze and his organisation are totally uncalled for. Marking a man out for his own freedom of speech and his right to point out wrongs in the society goes against everything a civilised society stands for.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK