Pro-democracy and good governance group, Concerned Nigerians, has condemned the rearrest of Bayelsa-based journalist and publisher, Jones Abiri by men suspected to be those of the Department of State Services, DSS.
Mr. Abiri was whisked away weekend in Bayelsa.
Meanwhile, in a statement by its Convener, Deji Adeyanju, the Concerned Nigerian group who condemned the arrest however called for his immediate release.
According to the group, Mr. Abiri’s arrest negates the principles of democracy and is a form of oppression on the journalism profession.
The statement reads thus:
“We condemn in its entirety the gestapo manner in which a Bayelsa based Journalist and Publisher, Jones Abiri was re-arrested by men suspected to be men of the Department of State Services.
Concerned Nigerians condemn the continuous ill-treatment of Jones Abiri who was just performing his civic duties of gathering information for the general public and and holding the government accountable.
The re-arrest of Journalist, Jones Abiri who was released few months ago by a competent court of jurisdiction after a prolonged incarceration by the DSS is a clear affront on press freedom.
The injustice being meted on Jones Abiri is troubling and it further attests to the fact that Nigeria is fast drifting into fascism where people will be tagged enemies of the state for being critical of the government.
If this kind of behavior continues, it’s going to result in journalists being afraid to ask questions and people being afraid to stand up for the country.
A free press is one of the building blocks of our democracy. Without it, democracy is in danger. Nigerians, regardless of their political beliefs, have the right to stand up and ask government tough questions.
We urge the SSS to regard journalism as a noble service and not a crime. We appeal to our security agents to always behave in a mature and professional manner and to avoid arresting and forcing journalists to name their sources for merely doing their job.”