The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has hailed the Punch newspapers for its ‘tough and admirable editorial position’ against what it called “autocracy and military-style repression” and “insufferable contempt for the rule of law” of the federal government.
In a statement issued through its publicity secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, IPOB said, “While we commend the Punch for this courageous act, we must not fail to go down the memory lane to recall how Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has, in his broadcasts, vigorously criticized what is generally referred to as the ‘Lagos-Ibadan axis’ media in Nigeria.”
“The Punch’s editorial shows that what Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been saying about the complicity and docility of the so-called Yoruba media in this era of Fulani impunity is beginning to sink in. We can only hope that the editorial board of Punch will stay the course and reject any financial inducement like Ray Ekpu did at the Newswatch after Dele Giwa was killed with a parcel bomb.
“We also hope that the Punch did not belatedly adopt this stance just because Yoruba people are now feeling this serial tyranny that had started with the Igbos and Biafrans since 2015. To demonstrate its sincerity, Punch should walk-back and begin to chronicle all the horrid acts of impunity of this regime. It should go beyond the current travails of Sowore.
“Many people are still being detained and killed illegally, of which IPOB continues to bear the brunt of it. It has now been extended to Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, whose home was illegally invaded and burnt down, with many innocent souls extra-judicially executed in the process.
“Going forward, Punch must follow-up on its new toga by revisiting its shameful coverage of the horrible events of 14th September, 2017. It was and remains a pivotal date in the history of journalism in Nigeria, because that was the day Nigeria media sold their conscience to Satan by reporting garbage and outright lies, while innocent people were being killed in cold blood.
”It was so sad to see the entire mainstream media using their platforms to propagate damaging falsehood and anti-IPOB narrative issuing from the murderous Fulani cabal that has been controlling the Buhari presidency since its inception in 2015.
“It’s disgraceful that the media helped to propagate the false narrative that a call for referendum is a call for war or armed secession. This dangerous and cowardly journalism emboldened the Army to abandon Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen terrorists to pursue IPOB as the prime enemy of the state.
“Today, the Yoruba race is being humiliated like never before and Punch appears to have realised this and finally, got around to listening to the log-running admonition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. It is hoped that from now onwards, the rest of the Yoruba media, including Channels Television, Tribune, The Nation newspaper and particularly, Sahara Reporters, will toe the same path.”