By Chuks Okocha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday condemned and described the National Broadcast Code as a renewed clampdown on the media and gagging of free speech in the country by the federal government.
The party insisted that, without prejudice to the allegations or claims that the federal government had against Nigeria Info, a broadcast station, on issues of content, the federal government could not, on its own, impose sanctions against a media house or individuals for expressing their right to free speech.
According to a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary, PDP holds that if anybody, be him the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a state governor, a Senator of the Federal Republic, a Member of the House of Representatives, a public entity, or even the most ordinary Nigerian, have been libeled or infringed upon by any other Nigerian, the process for redress is clearly stated in the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and should be followed.
Accordingly, Ologbondiyan said, “As a party, the PDP stands against draconian methods or underhand measures which this administration has set out to gag the media and erode the rights of Nigerians as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“Our party holds that due process must be followed for redress in instances where violations are alleged and not by extra judicial sanctions and clampdown on the media, as being witnessed under the APC administration,” he explained.
The PDP, said it was standing in solidarity with Nigerians, therefore condemns any attempt to gag the media and asks the APC federal government to rescind its draconian actions and reverse to due process, as provided by the 1999 Constitution, in handling issues relating to the freedom of the media.