By Ademola Orunbon
A group in the Epe division of Lagos State, under the auspices of Epe Progressive Indigenes for Good Governance (EPIGG) has condemned the escalating clampdown on the rights to freedom of expression and media freedom mostly perpetrated by the house of representatives member, representing Epe federal constituency, Hon. Wale Raji.
The group coordinator, Mr. Olayemi Orunbon made this known at a parley with journalists, calling on the well meaning Nigerians and the leadership of All Progressive Congress (APC) to call the lawmaker (Wale Raji) to order.
He noted that the house of reps member had been intimidating and harassing journalists with Department of Security Service (DSS) over the allegation of diverting over N100 million constituency project to his personal coffer, noting that the act of lawlessness would not be condoned.
“Hon. Wale Raji, should stop intimidating and harassing journalists with DSS, so as to end the climate of fear and repression of men of pen professionals and media organization across the state, he has been chasing some journalists with securities after publishing of diverting over N100 million public fund”, Orunbon said.
He said “At least, two journalists had been invited by the DSS Epe office for just no reasons, but basically on petition brought up by the house of reps member, Wale Raji, but human right cost of receiving and sharing information for journalists, bloggers and activists to operate in a climate of fear”.
“This is totally unacceptable, the APC members, coherent and its leaders, including the authorities must immediately put an end to hostility towards human right, and stop intimidating and harassing journalists in the State”, he said
Orunbon noted that his group has examined the cases of journalists, who were detained, molested, harassed, threatened and intimidated in the course of doing their rightful jobs.
He further explained that the investigation had revealed a distorting escalation in the authorities’ threat and attacks against Nigerian journalists, who had express critical opinions of the government on both conventional and social media.
It should be recalled that Hon. Wale Raji was alleged in the diversion of over N100 million meant for reconstruction of Igboye Community High School and also diverted monies meant for the provision of 32,000 sola streetlights to communities in Epe division of Lagos State.