Nigeria attacks news websites for their news coverage

The Nigerian government on September 27, 2013, accused two leading independent online news websites–the Abuja-based Premium Times and the New York-based Sahara Reporters–of publishing frequent reports that “incite mutiny” within the military and undermine ongoing military operations against terrorist activities in northern Nigeria, according to news reports

In a speech delivered on live television during the 44th National Council on Information meeting in the Southwestern city of Osogbo, Information Minister Labaran Maku said it was “unacceptable” that the reports by both news websites were “deliberately contrived to undermine military strategy, demoralize our troops, or even cause incitement to mutiny.” Maku did not specify any particular articles.

Musikilu Mojeed, managing editor of the Premium Times, said the government’s failure to substantiate its claims with any evidence smacked of a ploy to “blackmail and intimidate independent media voices” from holding the government and its officials accountable, the news site reported. He denied the allegations, the reports said.