NGE condemns expulsion of Punch Correspondent, demands apology
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has condemned the expulsion of the State House correspondent of Punch Newspapers, Olalekan Adetayo, from Aso Rock by Bashir Abubakar, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a press statement by its president, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, the Guild demanded for an apology from the CSO for Adetayo who has been recalled and The Punch management.
Adetayo was expelled on Monday, April 24, 2017 by Abubakar over content of one of his column on a story on. President Buhari’s health.
The statement said: “While we acknowledge the recall of Mr. Adetayo to the State House, the Guild hereby registers its displeasure at the manner he was treated and the circumstances of his expulsion.
“The Guild considers the action of the CSO a clear affront on the media and an attempt to muzzle it from discharging its Constitutional duty of being a vehicle for the dissemination of information.
“While the Guild notes that the CSO may have acted outside his brief and not on the orders or prompting of President Buhari as was explained by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the Guild demands an unreserved apology from the CSO to Mr. Adetayo and Punch Newspapers.
“As deterrent to others, the Guild urges Mr. President to discipline the CSO for over-reaching himself and acting in a manner intended to gag free speech.
“The Guild urges the Presidency to take steps to ensure that such disrespectful treatment of any journalist covering the State House or any other beat in the country by security operatives does not happen again.”