Olalekan Adetayo, state house correspondent of The Punch, has been expelled from the presidential villa in Abuja by the Chief Security officer, CSO, to the president in a move that has alarmed journalists across the nation.
Adetayo was expelled over a story on President Muhammadu Buhari’s health published by the newspaper on Sunday.
“What makes us different from Zimbabwe, Russia & China when it comes to the press, said a journalist Monday evening in Abuja. The eviction has been widely condemned, with one unnamed senior official calling the press “the opposition party.”
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, told TheCable that he was still trying to verify the incident.
He said he got a message from the journalist saying he had been expelled from the villa, and he added that he was looking into it.
For many years, reporters have worked inside the Villa. They have been centrally located.
Though the most aggressive investigative journalism takes place outside the villa, reporters rely daily on being in close proximity to presidency officials to ask questions on the public’s behalf.
It’s bad enough that the some administration officials has denied press credentials, but Monday’s episode was more troubling ― essentially, security decided that a journalist can’t do his work any longer, a state house correspondent told Per Second News.
Some officials in the Villa believes they are in the position of strength and can do whatever they want. They don’t need to answer any questions from anyone. They can and will stack the deck of every public engagement with favorable “reporters” and avoid being held accountable.
They are banking on the idea that whether you like them or hate them, whether they call you names and question your motives, whether they straight up lie to you, that the media will cover a Buhari ‘Health’ story with mass saturation.
Think about it. The very people who are so critical of the media are also hungry, thirsty and obsessed for their approval, acceptance and their coverage.
Source: Per Second News