Report has it that Armed soldiers in the early hours of Sunday, January 6, 2019, invaded Daily Trust regional office in Maiduguri, Borno state, arresting the regional editor, Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Ibrahim Sawab.
It was however unclear as to the reason for the action, which many people have condemned in totality. According to the Newspaper, the soldiers shut the gate of the Maiduguri regional office, after arresting the two editorial staff on sight at the time of the raid.
The Newspaper also disclosed, that the arrest may be connected with the lead story of Daily Trust on Sunday on military operation in the North East.
A witness according the paper, also noted, that the soldiers requested to see Daily Trust’s Political Editor, Hamza Idris, whose byline appeared on the story.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), has condemned the arrest, stressing however that no explanation is good enough for the extreme action which it said, is bizarre and represents repression and violation of press freedom.
In a statement released on Sunday night, the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, urged the military to order the immediate release of the detained staff and reopening of the newspaper office, adding that the military in these frighteningly difficult times, need more friends than self-made enemies.
According to him, “We wish to condemn the arrest of the Borno State Editor of Daily plus other staff and closure of the state office by the military.We are in a democracy and the media constitute one of the strong institutions in our democracy.
“The Daily Trust Group represent some of the best traditions in journalism practice. They are neither associated with sensationalism nor some of the darker side of journalism.The arrest of its personnel and shutdown of its office portend evil and represent a throwback to the dark days of the military.
“If the military authorities have issues with the news paper, even if those issues pertain to national security, there are established channels for dealing with them”, Wabba remarked.
Also, in a short message circulating on WhatsApp, the Chairman of Council, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT, Emmanuel Ogbeche, said the Union is monitoring the situation.
“The NUJ FCT is monitoring the development of armed soldiers shutting down Daily Trust Newspapers Headquarters and will react soon. All journalists in the FCT are advised to stay vigilant”, he noted.