Chief Akanni Aluko, a renowned business mogul and Publisher of the defunct Third Eye Newspapers, has cautioned the National Assembly against an attempt to gag the media, saying such will fail.
Aluko gave the warning while speaking with newsmen on Saturday at his Monatan residence in Ibadan area of Oyo State, saying “nobody can kill the press, irrespective of the attempt made”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aluko had on Friday celebrated his 78th birthday with friends and family in Ibadan.
NAN reports that the Media Bill sponsored by Rep. Segun Odebunmi (APC-Surulere/Ogo-Oluwa), had generated heated debate by media professionals, describing it as an attempt to gag the media.
Odebunmi, also, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information and National Orientation, had, however, promised at different fora to drop the Bill.
Aluko said that the bill would smear the image of the sponsor.
He said that sponsor of the bill had failed to realise that President Muhammadu Buhari would not do anything to suppress, bully or criminalise the media.
“Though, the sponsor of the bill had said that he was withdrawing the controversial Bill temporarily; Odebunmi’s intention is to silence the media and render it powerless.
“Even, if passed by the National Assembly, it is certain that the President will never ascent to such obnoxious Bill that were meant to strangulate the media, Oxygen of the nation’s democracy.
“Odebunmi can’t assume what the president wants. He wanted to take the President for granted, but was wrong.
“The President is a man of the people, even, if the House pass such anti-media bill, the President cannot ascent to it.
Aluko recounted how he had been ill in the last 21 years, thanking God for allowing him to attain the age of 78 years.
“Today (Friday) is a milestone in my life, very wonderful; I thank only God for allowing me to reach 78.
Aluko then prayed that Almighty God would grant Nigeria leaders the wisdom to lead the nation in the right path. (NAN)