One of governorship aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, has condemned the attacks on journalists in the state by some members of All Progressive Congress (APC), saying that democracy needs journalism to thrive.
Ogunbiyi gave the condemnation in a statement signed by the Director, Media and Publicity Akin Ogunbiyi Campaign Organisation, Comrade Olalere Fagbola and made available to newsmen in Osogbo.
The governorship hopeful described the attack as a show of aggression and total act of totalitarianism.
“The attacks on journalists who converged at a press function in Osogbo to carry out their social responsibility as the eyes and nose of the people of Osun is like a kick in the teeth.
“It is a very terrible and appalling assault on our democracy and freedom of information,” he said.
Ogunbiyi called on the state Commissioner of Police and other security agencies to investigate the sad incident with a view to bringing the perpetrators of the act to book.
He also called on civil society groups and other democracy loving institutions to call the APC to order before it unleashes another round of organised terror on the society.
The aspirant who opined that a stitch in time saves nine, stressed that the police command should swing into action in ensuring that the crisis is not allowed to fester so as not to create chaos ahead of primary elections by political parties.
Ogunbiyi added that the unfortunate incident should serve as an eye-opener to the public as to the level of intolerance of the APC and why it is unsafe to allow such a party with demonstrated resolves to stifle the freedom of the press to continue to rule the state.
“Osun is in a sorry state today because of the totalitarian nature of those in the position of leadership.
“By this act and several others, the ruling APC is indeed a disaster to democracy and its bid to reduce the press from being a watchdog to a lapdog at all cost calls for concern because democracy needs journalism to thrive.
“No matter what, conflict is a natural state of the human organisation but where logic prevails, it should not be difficult to leave out journalists from the crack and rancour within the party.
“Therefore, that the party members for whatever reason brutally injured some journalists is really contemptuous and out of place.
“Journalism is the shield between people and any sort of totalitarian rule. Just as no nation can boast of good governance and development without the press, the liberty of Osun people depends on the freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without horrible consequences.
“With the level of mass poverty and gross violation of human rights in Osun at the moment, if there is anything that we cannot afford to lose, the functioning press in the state is definitely one of them,” Ogunbiyi said.
From Saheed Adeyemi, Osogbo.