HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is worried that the media that ought to perform the constitutional role of agenda setting and acting as the conscience of the nation in line with section 22 of the constitution and professional media laws of adherence to the sanctity of facts, objectivity and fairness in their reportage have deviated by aiding and abetting the illegality of certain Nigerians whose hitherto appointments as aides of president Muhammadu Buhari from May 29th 2015 to May 29th 2019 expired but who still parade about as office holders even without evidence of re-appointments known to the public.
Concerned about the far-reaching implication for constitutional democracy, the Rights group-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has tasked editors to stop the misinformation and deliberate distortion of basic facts by their persistent breach of the time honoured and time tested media Ethics by actively encouraging lawlessness and impunity by these set of persons in such a way that the editors use their news pages to legitimize the illegitimate parde and show of shame of these Nigerians who still illegally enjoy the legal recognition of those offices whose terms legally have ceased to be functional which is to the knowledge of all rationally conscious citizens. HURIWA regretted that some of the key alleged offenders parading their yet to be renewed official status and the editors aiding and abetting this illegality are journalists thereby tarnishing the cherished integrity and larger-than- life ethical character of the media as the Conscience of the Nation.
HURIWA listed the special Adviser media and publicity Mr. Femi Adesina, senior special assistant (media) to president Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Garba Shehu; Secretary to Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha and National Assembly’s liaison adviser to the president Mr. Ita Enang as persons who have continued to defy the clear provisions of the constitution by still signing official documents which the media publishes even without valid reappointments. “This is an unmitigated disaster and this shenanigans will be remembered when the history of the disgraceful circus that current Nigerian political character represents would be written by historians”.
HURIWA recalled that those parading their unrenewed offices are abusing the constitution by virtue of Section 151 and 22 of the constitution which states: “151 – (1) The President may appoint any person as a Special Adviser to assist him in the performance of his functions. (2) The number of such Advisers and their remuneration and allowances shall be as prescribed by law or by resolution of the National Assembly. (3) Any appointment made pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be at the pleasure of the President and shall cease when the President ceases to hold office.”
Besides, HURIWA recalled that the media is the vanguard of the nation and the national agenda setter in line with the provision of section 22 thus: “The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people.”