Proscibed secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Thursday reacted to the Punch Editorial of Wednesday which attacked President Buhari administration for alleged human rights abuses.
In a statement by the group’s Spokesman, Emma Powerful, IPOB said Punch decided to speak up now because a Yoruba man was at the receiving end of the DSS impunity.
He wondered why the paper never seemed it fit to adopt same posture when Ndigbo and members of the group were being mercilessly killed and imprisoned by the government.
IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu
Journalist Sowore, still in detention despite court granting him bail
It will be recalled that Punch Newspaper in its editorial published on Wednesday criticized the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for its disobedience to court orders.
In the said Editorial, titled ‘Buhari’s lawlessness: Our stand,’ the Paper said it would henceforth refer to the president by his last military title when he ruled Nigeria as a military dictator.
“As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH (all our print newspapers, The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH, Sunday PUNCH, PUNCH Sports Extra, and digital platforms, most especially Punchng.com) will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law,” it wrote
In the statement titled ‘PUNCH: The power of Nnamdi Kanu’s admonition of complicit Nigeria media begins to sink in’, Powerful noted that the Newspapers stance shows that the accusations of docility levelled against the media by the group’s Leader Nnamdi Kanu is beginning to pay off.
The statement reads:
On December 11, 2019, the Punch newspaper took a tough and admirable editorial position against what it called “autocracy and military-style repression” and “insufferable contempt for the rule of law” of the Cabal that is ruling in the name of Buhari.
While we commend the Punch for this courageous act, we must not fail to go down the memory lane to recall how Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has, in his broadcasts, vigorously criticized what is generally referred to as the ‘Lagos-Ibadan axis’ media in Nigeria.
The Punch’s editorial shows that what Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been saying about the complicity and docility of the so-called Yoruba media in this era of Fulani impunity is beginning to sink in. We can only hope that the editorial board of Punch will stay the course and reject any financial inducement like Ray Ekpu did at the Newswatch after Dele Giwa was killed with a parcel bomb.
We also hope that the Punch did not belatedly adopt this stance just because Yoruba people are now feeling this serial tyranny that had started with the Igbos and Biafrans since 2015. To demonstrate its sincerity, Punch should walk-back and begin to chronicle all the horrid acts of impunity of this regime. It should go beyond the current travails of Sowore.
Many people are still being detained and killed illegally, of which IPOB continues to bear the brunt of it. It has now been extended to Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, whose home was illegally invaded and burnt down, with many innocent souls extra-judicially executed in the process.
Going forward, Punch must follow-up on its new toga by revisiting its shameful coverage of the horrible events of 14th September 2017. It was and remains a pivotal date in the history of journalism in Nigeria, because that was the day Nigeria media sold their conscience to Satan by reporting garbage and outright lies while innocent people were being killed in cold blood.