The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called for the immediate release of Daily Trust staff arrested in Maiduguri by armed soldiers and urged the Nigerian military to end its siege on the newspaper’s offices in Borno, Lagos, and Abuja.
In a statement signed by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, on Sunday night, the labour union condemned the military siege, saying “no explanation is good enough for this extreme action. It is bizarre and represents repression and violation of press freedom.”
The statement reads in part: “We are in a democracy and the media constitute one of the strong institutions in our democracy.
“The Daily Trust Group represents some of the best traditions in journalism practice. They are neither associated with sensationalism nor some of the darker side of journalism.
“The arrest of its personnel and shutdown of its offices portend evil and represent a throwback to the dark days of the military.
“If the military authorities have issues with the newspaper; even if those issues pertain to national security, there are established channels for dealing with them.
“Accordingly, we urge the military to order the immediate release of the detained staff and reopening of the newspaper office.
“In these frighteningly difficult times, the military need more friends than self-made enemies.”