Signal has joined Punch in protest and announced that it would henceforth address President Muhammadu Buhari as Dictator in all its publications.
Earlier, Punch announced that they would henceforth address President Buhari as Major General as a show of protest for his consistent disregard for the rule of law and now, Signal has also joined the protest against Buhari’s clampdown on freedom of expression in Nigeria by deciding to address him as Dictator henceforth.
The media platform took to their social media page to make a formal announcement. They wrote;
NOTICE | As a show of protest for the consistent disregard for the rule of law and clampdown on freedom of expression in #Nigeria, we shall henceforth address President Muhammadu @MBuhari with the prefix: ‘Dictator’ in all our publications.
NOTICE | As a show of protest for the consistent disregard for the rule of law and clampdown on freedom of expression in #Nigeria, we shall henceforth address President Muhammadu @MBuhari with the prefix: 'Dictator' in all our publications. pic.twitter.com/lGRMIjqsnT
— SIGNAL (@thesignalng) December 11, 2019
Reacting to the decision of Punch addressing him as Major General henceforth, the presidency reacted through President Buhari’s media adviser, Femi Adesina, saying there is no big deal about the decision and rather, it further reinforces the existence of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the country. He wrote on his social media page;
“If you decide to call him Major General, he wasn’t dashed the rank, he earned it. So, you are not completely out of order.
“The fact that you can do so is even another testimony to press freedom in Nigeria
“All over the world, just as in our country, a large number of retired military officers are now democrats. It does not make those who did not pass through military service better than them.
“Rather than being pejorative, addressing President Buhari by his military rank is another testimony to free speech and freedom of the press, which this administration (or regime, if anyone prefers: it is a matter of semantics) has pledged to uphold and preserve”