The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has condemned the arrest of some staff of the Daily Trust Newspaper by the Army.
Some staff of the Daily Trust Group, a local publication in Nigeria were on Sunday arrested and the offices in Borno, North- east Nigeria, and Abuja closed down.
In a statement by the NLC signed by its President, Ayuba Wabba, the Congress said no explanation was good enough for the action adding that “It is bizarre and represents repression and violation of press freedom.”
The statement continues “We are in a democracy and the media constitute one of the strong institutions in our democracy.
“The Daily Trust Group represents some of the best traditions in journalism practice. They are neither associated with sensationalism nor some of the darker side of journalism.
“The arrest of its personnel and shutdown of its office portend evil and represent a throwback to the dark days of the military.
“If the military authorities have issues with the news paper, even if those issues pertain to national security, there are established channels for dealing with them.
Accordingly, we urge the military to order the immediate release of the detained staff and reopening of the newspaper office.”
The NLC then urged the military to order the immediate release of the detained staff and reopening of the newspaper offices.
Three staff including the State Editor of Daily Trust in Borno were arrested by the military sealed the offices of the Organisation in Borno and Abuja.
The Military has insisted that the action was to protect national security.
In a telephone interview with Voice of Nigeria on Monday, the Editor in Chief of the Daily Trust Newspaper, Munnir Dan-Ali however confirmed that two of the arrested staff have been released and the offices unsealed.
He said that the Bureau Chief of the Organisation in Borno State was still being detained by the military.
Asked whether the Military has contacted the orgaisation to register its grouse, he said no but proffered that the military’s action may be connected with a story by the newspaper on Sunday on the Military’s preparedness to retake Baga which is under the siege of Boko Haram.
Dan_Ali also said that he had made several attempts to contact the military on the matter but to no avail.