The Presidency has once more reacted after Punch Newspaper vowed to handle President Muhammadu Buhari as ‘Major General’.
In a statement made on Wednesday by Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media, Garba Shehu stated
it isn’t inside the energy or rights of a newspaper to unilaterally and whimsically change the formal official title or the designation of the nation’s President because it pleases.
The Presidency famous that the Punch by no means modified President Olusegun Obasanjo’s title from the President to General Obasanjo, regardless of the latter’s refusal to adjust to Supreme Court judgment, ordering him to release N30 billion of Lagos State native councils funds.
The statement reads in full,
“The reported new editorial coverage of the Punch Newspapers to handle President Muhammadu Buhari as Major General in his official title and check with his authorities as a regime as an alternative of administration, involves us as completely curious and completely unimaginable.
“The paper claimed that it’s altering President Buhari’s official title to General due to his authorities’s alleged disregard for the rule of legislation.
“Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), for that’s his title, and he was certainly Major General, however today retired from that place and now twice democratically elected president of Nigeria – isn’t the selection of Punch Newspaper’s editors and homeowners, that’s clear.
“He is, however, the two-time electoral choice of the voters of Nigeria, those very people who Punch Newspapers described this morning as “lethargic”: a disdaining epithet apportioned to first rate, hard-working, on a regular basis Nigerians for not agreeing with, and for not having voted according to their publication’s editorial and political beliefs.
“Punch’s editorial today is, nevertheless, solely according to holding and exercising the precise of free speech and freedom of the press, as my buddy and colleague, Femi Adesina stated earlier today.
“Femi, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity stated the actual fact the Punch can insult the President in a entrance web page editorial and so they go residence to sleep, peacefully, is the best testimony to the prevalence of the liberty of the press and of expression within the nation.
“To quote him, “rather than being pejorative, addressing President Buhari by his military rank is another testimony to free speech and freedom of the press, which this administration (or regime, if anyone prefers: it is a matter of semantics) has pledged to uphold and preserve.”
“In nations all over the world the place this proper doesn’t exist, newspapers don’t publish articles such because the one Punch did today; nor do they get to specific political beliefs opposite to that of presidency. The actual freedoms Punch claims are lacking are self-evident right here – in print, on the web – for all Nigerians and the entire world to see.
“There is nothing fallacious with expressing opposite opinions to this authorities – nor being in opposition to the president: that is the precise of very Nigerian.
“However, calling for the armed overthrow of the democratically elected administration is a unique matter solely: this Punch has by no means accomplished – however others who they search to defend, have.
“There is the distinction. Punch: oppose the federal government as a lot as you wish to.
“We welcome your contribution to the controversy. But we ask you to not throw insults on the good voters of Nigeria for not agreeing to your selection on the final election.
“Oppose in good humour: for that’s the mark of the true democrat – that which you purport to be.
“It isn’t inside the energy or rights of a newspaper to unilaterally and whimsically change the formal official title or the designation of the nation’s President because it pleases.
“It is unprecedented and absurd in our current political historical past. The Punch by no means modified President Olusegun Obasanjo’s title from the President to General Obasanjo, regardless of the latter’s refusal to adjust to Supreme Court judgment, ordering him to release N30 billion of Lagos State native councils funds.
“When General Ibrahim Babangida who wasn’t democratically elected assumed the title of President, why didn’t the Punch problem him or tackle him by any title it so desired?
“In reality, IBB closed media homes for a number of months and years, together with Punch.
“But the paper didn’t cease addressing him as President, even if he wasn’t elected.
“It is apparent that the Punch newspapers are taking part in partisan opposition politics which has nothing to do with journalism.
“The Constitution of Nigeria recognises the President because the formal official title of the occupant of that workplace. Can the Punch newspapers, of their hubris tackle the President as Prime Minister because it pleases?
“Is it inside the paper’s duty or energy to vary the official title of the person who occupies the workplace of the President? Does that imply any newspaper is free to handle the Comptroller General of Customs a Colonel slightly than his official title?
“The Punch newspaper should separate journalism from partisan politics. What it’s embarking upon is only political and it’s designed to play to the gallery and trigger confusion.
“Punch Newspaper’s double standards in cuddling some of our past dictators and their open contempt for President Buhari clearly show that the paper has sinister motives for its current curious editorial judgment. Its personal hatred for and animus towards President Buhari should not be allowed to becloud its good judgment.”