The Ahmed Makarfi led Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has chided the Presidency for expelling The Punch Aso Rock correspondent, Olalekan Adetayo.
THEWILL recalls that Adetayo was on Monday expelled from the Aso Villa by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief Security Officer, Abubakar Bashir over a report he did on Buhari’s health, which Bashir considered unpalatable.
The faction, in a statement released by its spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, stated that the development was not surprising, stressing that the nation was gradually tilting toward full blown dictatorship.
“The PDP acknowledges Mr President’s health challenges; and as a human being and an elder statesman, we quite understand the need for him to have adequate rest and continuous medical attention.
“We are therefore not too surprised that the President has not in recent times been able to fully face the rigours of governance and has to make very rare public appearances.
“This is pretty obvious to all Nigerians. The Punch story is, therefore, nothing extraordinary. It merely reflects what Nigerians already know with perhaps a little bit of speculative license. It, therefore, should not have elicited the extreme reaction from the President’s Chief Security Officer.
“The media, as the fourth estate of the realm is an important pillar of any democracy. Any attempt to gag the press in whatever guise is an abridgement of the rights of the people and a direct assault on our hard earned democracy.
“We therefore totally condemn the action of the President’s CSO. He must realise that we are in a democracy and not a military dictatorship. It is also revealing and shows the lack of synergy in the Villa that a reporter will be expelled without the knowledge or concurrence of the President’s Adviser on Media Relations.
“For the umpteenth time, we want to reiterate that Nigerians deserve to know the health condition of their President. No one has the right or power to hide the President behind the curtain while dishing out instructions to Nigerians in the name of the President.
“We join all well-meaning Nigerians to wish the President a speedy recovery and pray that the Lord Almighty will grant all that is required for him to fulfil his responsibilities to our dear country”.
Adetayo has been recalled by President Muhammadu Buhari who according to his Spokesman, Femi Adesina, was not privy to Adetayo’s expulsion from his beat.