By Enekorogha Godbless
The apex body of Ijaw publishers, under the auspices of the Ijaw Publishers Forum, IPF, has called on the DSS Director of the Federation Abuja and his Bayelsa counterpart to immediately release the detained Ijaw publisher, Bara Ogidi to reunite with his family.
This was made available to newsmen in a statement signed by its acting president, Comrade Ozobo Austin, and acting secretary Tare Magbei on Wednesday.
The publishers argued that the continuous detention of Ogidi is infringing his fundamental rights, adding that the alleged offence is bailable and should be released without further delay.
Recall, Ogidi was arrested by DSS in Bayelsa State on Monday 6th June 2022 and since then had been detained till date.
According to the report, he was arrested following an article he published earlier this year on his media outlet (TrackNews) calling for the sack of the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi K. Wabote for alleged fraud and corruption.
They further explained that the activities of DSS are against the free press in the country, adding that the arrest of journalists was not the best step to correct erroneous publications against anyone.
He added that anyone who feels offended by any publication issued by the press should call for redress by apology and retraction, and not unlawful arrest and detention.
“Journalists are partners in progress, as everyone needs a journalist including the DSS, so why should you suffer your friend because of some mistakes. No one is perfect, no professor knows it all, no security operative knows it all, no lecturer knows it all and no president knows it all. So why so eager to punish and witch-hunt law-abiding journalists because of some few errors. It is truly disappointing to observe that the DSS and other security agencies in the country are posing a big threat to press freedom. Journalists will soon disassociate themselves from security agencies and individuals who do not have regard for the noble profession,” he added.
He said the Bara Ogidi should be released to avoid peaceful protests and other legal processes that might be instituted against the DSS by concerned people of the press and the Bayelsa state at large.