Gombe State Government has reacted to the recent statement by the opposition New Nigeria Peoples Party, which alleged that it ordered the arrest of a radio journalist for hosting a member of the party in a political programme.
The NNPP through its Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Makko, had accused government of not being tolerant to opposition.
Reacting to the accusation, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information Management and Strategy, Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara, in a press release issued to journalists on Saturday, said the government did not order arrest of any journalist.
He challenged the opposition to provide proof that any journalist was arrested, adding that it only tabled a complaint to the police against the radio guest who made unfounded allegations against the government.
Shuaibu-Gara saud, “Gombe State government did not order arrest of any journalist. Anyone who claims that a journalist was arrested, he should show us his accreditation by the Nigeria Union of Journalists or the Radio, Television and Threatre Art Workers Union or any identity card to prove that he is a journalist.
“What we know is that the government complained to the police which is our right to do so that we monitored a radio programme where a guest was invited to a political programme which was about 30 minutes.
“In that programme, the guest alleged that we spent over N4 billion to fence the Gombe government house. We presented to the police our records of the entire state budget for maintenance of all public buildings between 2019 to 2022.
“The entire figures for four years is not up to N4 billion and our performance for maintaining all public buildings in Gombe state is not more than N1.6 billion in all the four years (2019 – 2022). So under the principle of fair hearing, we wanted the police to help us ask him for his own evidence.”
The media aide said if anybody wanted to get any information from government for genuine purpose, he should follow due process, adding that the government was ever willing to do so in line with the Freedom of Information policy.