Tolerate criticisms, allow press to exercise its constitutional right, CAN tells FG

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged the federal government to tolerate criticism that would help in finding solutions to Nigerian problems.

CAN also told the government to allow the press to exercise its constitutional freedom and right to disseminate information or spread the news with strict adherence to the ethics of the profession without any intimidation.

In a statement signed by the President of CAN, Reverend Samson Ayokunle, CAN urged the government not to gag the people or see those who speak about the failures of as enemies to be intimidated, hounded down like preys and arrested.

The press must be allowed to exercise its constitutional freedom and right to disseminate information or spread the news with strict adherence to the ethics of the profession without any intimidation or whatsoever.

“We urge the government to tolerate criticisms that are constructive as they would help in finding solutions to our problems, especially those that expose the ills in our society and the people behind our ordeals.

“It is being reported by the media recently that one Retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi has been invited by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) over comments he allegedly made on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily Breakfast programme last Wednesday.’ We thank God that it was a friendly chat as claimed by the Defence Headquarters,” CAN said.

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On the heightened situation in the country the, CAN admonished political leaders to exercise caution in the way they treat observations of people and comments so as not to further plunge the nation into unnecessary crisis.

“We urge Nigerians to be modest and factual in their comments and respect those who are leading us by giving honour to whom honour is due; however, that does not erode their rights and freedom of expression by speaking the truth always to those they elected into power without fear.

“We must avoid inciting people against leaders, ethnic and religious groups. We are only calling for restraints and balanced judgement. We must speak the truth always because it is the truth alone that can set free,” CAN noted.

“CAN urges the Edo State government to rescind its plan to bar people who could not show the evidence of vaccination from entering the church, mosques and public events centres beginning from this month of September.

“While we fully support vaccination, we equally recognize that vaccination depends on individual choice. In view of the foregoing, coercing people into getting vaccinated is a violation of the fundamental right of each individual.

“Let the government and all of us be emphasizing the observance of COVID-19 protocols all the time. The vaccines available now in the country through the Federal Government is far below the population of Nigeria that needs the vaccine.

“We call for improved sustainable public enlightenment, synergy and strategy in the management of the situation. Let wisdom and sound judgment prevail,” the statement added.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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