The Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the ban of the ThisDay and Vanguard correspondents from covering the Imo State Government House activities as undemocratic and excessively harsh.
The state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, had reportedly on Saturday during an interactive session with reporters announced the ban of Amby Uneze of ThisDay newspaper and Chidi Nkwopara of Vanguard newspaper on the allegation that the journalists did not like him.
The PDP Publicity Secretary in Imo State, Damian Opara, in a statement issued on Wednesday, described the governor’s action as stifling press freedom in the state.
The statement read, “The Peoples Democratic Party, Imo State Executive Council after a very careful and painstaking review of the purported ban in an emergency meeting, views the ban as a breach of the constitutional rights of the journalists and hereby condemn the action of Governor Rochas Okorocha in its totality.
“One of the tenets of any democracy is the freedom of information and this must be respected by all segments of the government in Imo State. The purported ban of the two journalists from carrying out their legitimate duties is to show the whole world how the governor is becoming increasingly intolerant of opposing views to his draconian style of governance.”
The party alleged that the governor was becoming “increasingly intolerant of truth and opposing views,” adding that the governor’s action could only be welcomed in a military regime.
“The APC government of Imo State under Governor Rochas Okorocha has done so much harm to the people of Imo State and has completely lost popularity and sympathy of the people, through his maladministration should not transfer his aggressions to innocent journalists who are carrying out their constitutional duties in Imo State,” it said.
According to the statement, The ThisDay and Vanguard correspondents were not responsible for the dwindling image of Governor Okorocha, which is self-inflicted due to the many failed promises he made to the Imo people.
“The PDP hereby call on Governor Okorocha to allow these journalists to do their legitimate duties as they are not the Eke-Ukwu Owerri market women and other artisans in Imo State whose livelihood have been destroyed by his questionable urban renewal policy,” the party said.