The Presidency at the weekend challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to provide the names of alleged political prisoners who were currently being unjustly detained by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
It would be recalled that Uche Secondus, the PDP National Chairman, had appealed to President Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, release all political detainees under the administration, saying the government, through its action, was stifling freedom of speech.
Secondus said, “We ask Mr. President, Mr. Buhari, to release political prisoners. It is not done in any political dispensation. What we are seeing today is as if we are in a military era. He should urgently release political prisoners and allow a political atmosphere and a country where there is freedom of speech.”
Urging the media to take the lead, Secondus said, “I want to call on journalists and media managers not to sit on the fence. They can’t just sit and watch the country sliding.
“They played major roles in the past, removing the country from the hands of the military. They have tempered with some among them.
“It is time for them to join hands with the good people of Nigeria to stand on the path of truth, on the path of democracy.
However, speaking on a political programme on Channels Television, Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity denied Secondus’ claim, saying there were no political prisoners under the current administration.
“The question we need to ask the PDP chairman is, does he have a name? Who are these political prisoners? Let him put up their names in the press and let us read about it. But from all we can see, there are no political detainees under President Buhari. None