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Nigerian Foreign Affairs Ministry halts supply of newspapers critical of Goodluck’s administration

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Nigeria President - Goodluck Jonathan
Nigeria President - Goodluck Jonathan

The supply of Daily Trust and the Leadership newspapers to top officials of Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja has been suspended, information reaching ghanabusinessnews.com indicates.

The reason for the suspension is unknown but these newspapers are said to be critical of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

The Daily Trust reports December 22, 2011 that a letter dated November 29, 2011 and sent to all the ministry’s under-secretaries, directors and deputy directors said, “Consequent upon the full movement of the Ministry from the old building to the permanent site, the Library Section is in the process of updating the list of all officers entitled for the supply of daily newspapers and weekly magazine as indicated in the attachment to this circular.”

An attachment to the circular, numbered 3/IG/9S.1/1 and signed by Mr. O. A. Ode, acting director, CM&PCD, according to the Daily Trust, listed the newspapers officers must choose from to include ThisDay, The Nation, The Guardian, The Punch, Daily Sun, Vanguard, Tribune, National Mirror, Peoples Daily and BusinessDay. It also listed the magazines they must choose from as Newswatch, Tell and The News.

“Conspicuously missing from the list are Daily Trust and Leadership newspapers,” the publication said.

According to the publication, a source in the ministry said the two papers were banned by the top hierarchy of the Foreign Ministry for their perceived critical stance towards the Jonathan administration.

But reacting to the situation, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry who denied the allegation told Daily Trust that it is not possible for the ministry to give such directive.

“Daily Trust is a Nigerian and national newspaper, so how can there be such directive,” Ambassador Uhomoibhi is quoted as saying.

“Even me I don’t know why they stopped buying the paper and such directive is neither from me nor any top management officer,” he adds.

By Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor

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