The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and heads of security agencies to stop targeting critics.
A statement by the CAN President, Rev. Olasupo Ayokunle said the government and officials must exercise caution in the way they treat vocal Nigerians over their views on insecurity.
Urging citizens to be modest and factual in their comments, the Christian leader warned against denying them the rights of speech and expression.
Atokunle warned that attempts to intimidate those who speak about the failures of government will worsen the situation and portray the authorities as autocratic.
He said the Press must be allowed to exercise its constitutionally guaranteed freedom to disseminate information with adherence to the ethics of the profession without fear.
Ayokunle cited the invite of Retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) over comments he made on Channels Television.
“We urge the government to tolerate criticisms that are constructive as they would help in finding solutions to our problems”, he noted.
The CAN president further appealed to Nigerians to avoid spreading fake news due to implications. Ayokunle also cautioned the Edo State government against its move to ban those without evidence of vaccination from entering the churches, mosques, events centres and others.
CAN says it fully supports vaccination but recognizes that it should depend on individual choice.
“Coercing people into getting vaccinated is a violation of right. Let the government and all of us continue to emphasize the observance of COVID-19 protocols.
“The vaccines available in the country through the Federal Government are far below the population of Nigeria”, the statement added.