The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the restriction of some media houses from covering activities of the Presidency in the presidential villa.
The opposition party described the development as a most heinous form of official victimization executed in bad faith.
The presidency earlier said “over 100” correspondents gathering for work daily was not in line with the social distancing rule and overcrowding.
The 13 media houses allowed to cover the villa are Deutsche Welle, NTA, Channels TV, TVC, FRCN, VON, NAN, The Sun, ThisDay, Leadership, Daily Trust, The Guardian, and Vanguard.
However, in a statement of Wednesday signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, the party described the media ban by the Buhari administration as highly detestable, undemocratic and totally against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act as well as the tenets and guiding principles of rule of law.
The statement reads: “The party notes that the Presidency had no justification for its action and could therefore not give any cogent reason to necessitate the ban.
“The PDP cautioned the Buhari Presidency to note that the nation, and indeed, the world is currently distressed as we battle the deadly COVID-19.
“This is, therefore, not the time for unnecessary pettiness, victimization and barring of media houses, a development which has sparked off suspicion in the public space as being designed to conceal certain facts from the public.
“It is indeed instructive for the Buhari Presidency to note that our nation is in dire need of hope and direction contained in timely information, especially from the government.
“Consequently, clamping down on the media, which is a critical stakeholder in this important effort to defeat COVID-19 is completely at variance with our national interest.”