PDP to Kaduna Govt: Nigeria not a jungle, be tolerant of divergent views


Loyalists and close aides of Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State have been told to be tolerant of divergent opinion because Nigeria is not a jungle.
State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Hassan Hyet, who paid a solidarity visit to the Kaduna chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), said it was barbaric for anybody to attack journalists while performing their professional duties.
He was referring to Sunday attack at the NUJ premises in which Senators Shehu Sani and Uthman Hunkuyi were molested by some thugs believed to have been sent by loyalists of the state government.
Many journalists were injured during the fracas.
Hyet, who described the attack as ‘sheer madness’, urged security agencies to adopt stringent measures to check the trend.
He said: “Journalists have a statutory duty to educate and inform. Any attack on them will deny Nigerians the right to be educated and informed. That should be everyone’s concern.
“Politicians must be tolerant of divergent views. In a democracy, people must be allowed to air their views and voice out grievances.
“Nigeria is not a jungle; people should not use their fists, instead of their voices, in countering others’ positions on issues.
“The journalists were merely performing their duties at the NUJ. It was wrong for anyone to have even allowed strangers into the NUJ premises,” he said.
Hyet said that no society could exist without information, “whether such information is pleasant to those in authority or not”, and stressed the need to respect the freedom to express opinion.
“If you feel someone is giving the wrong information, go to the same media and state your side of the story. The law does not allow anyone to take a cutlass and start chasing other people just because of a political disagreement,” he said.
State NUJ chairman Yusuf Adamu, who thanked Hyet for the visit, said the attack was the first of its kind in the history of the NUJ in Kaduna.
He wondered why innocent journalists doing their jobs should be attacked when they were ready to equally state the side of the “attacker” in the political dispute.
Adamu said that the NUJ shall continue to discharge its duty to Nigeria and Nigerians by remaining the voice of the downtrodden, declaring that the media shall continue to stand by the people in line with the core values of journalism profession.
The NUJ official advised politicians against using youths as political thugs and hoodlums, “instead of mobilising such youths into positive ventures that will make them assets to the nation”.


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