The Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom condemns the blatant intimidation, harassment and continuous attack on journalists and media houses by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.
CWPPF condemns the illegal banning of the correspondents of The Sun newspaper, Chijioke Agwu, and the Vanguard Newspaper, Peter Okutu, from entering Government House and Government facilities in the State for life. This decision by the governor is absurd considering that the government house is not private property.
Governor Umahi must respect the Constitution that guarantees the rights of journalists to gather and disseminate information to the public and hold the government accountable. Banning journalists from covering and reporting on the activities of the government as the governor have done is in direct violation of this right and so cannot be allowed to stand.
The thinly veiled threats to the life and well being of Mr Chijioke Agwu and Mr Peter Okutu is also noted. CWPPF will like to remind the governor that he has a responsibility to protect every citizen in the state including these journalists and should any harm come to these journalists, the governor will account for them.
The Coalition calls on civil society actors and human rights defenders to stand up against this unlawful decision by the governor of Ebonyi state. Such unconstitutional decisions must not be allowed to stand.
COALITION FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS PROTECTION AND PRESS FREEDOM (CWPPF)
African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
Civic Media Lab
Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
Daily Trust Newspaper
International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)
International Press Centre (IPC)
HEDA Resource Centre
Media Rights Agenda (MRA)
Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ)
Paradigm Initiative (P.I)
Premium Times (PT)
Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ)
Sahara Reporters (SR)
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ)0