Chris Steven, Abuja
The Federal Government has reiterated that it would not do anything to stifle press freedom, saying it is keenly aware that a free press is vital to the success of any democracy.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, said the federal government has nothing to do with the recent arrest of Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher of the online newspaper Premium Times, and a reporter working for the paper, Ms. Evelyn Okakwu.
He said the whole issue of the journalists’ arrest is purely a private affair involving a citizen and a privately-owned newspaper, and wondered how that could now be construed as an attempt by the government to intimidate the press.
”We have said it before and we want to re-state it: The Federal Government has no immediate or long-term plan to stifle press freedom. Even the Social Media, with its warts and all, will neither be regulated nor have its operations tampered with,” Alhaji Mohammed assured Nigerians.