One of Nigeria’s most respected journalists, Mr Lekan Otufodunrin, has said that democracy cannot thrive without media practitioners being free to do their jobs.
Otufodunrin made the statement while speaking on SaharaTv on Tuesday.
According to him, the country was in an era where expression of speech is endangered— a situation whereby passable comments are not allowed and where people are indiscriminately arrested for publicly stating their opinions against the actions of the government.
He said, “The government is becoming intolerant of opposition and criticism of people who think they can do better.
“What we find now is a situation where people make passable comments and are arrested for whatever reasons.
“We are therefore in a space where the expression of speech is endangered
“We are not really sure about what is happening but the number of people held is scaring.
“Some people have been arrested, we don’t even know their whereabouts and nobody is taking responsibility and these are people we know have said something contrary to government position either at the federal or state level.
“Democracy cannot thrive without the freedom of the press. This entails that the press holds the government accountable so that when the government is caught doing what they are not supposed to be do, somebody is there to remind them.”