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A contigent of Nigerian soldiers this morning stormed the newspapers distribution center Garki Area 1 in Abuja confiscated and destroyed most of Nigeria's leading national dailies meant for distribution.
The armed soldiers who stormed the center at about 7.00am arrived with ten Hilux patrol vans painted in Nigerian Army colors asked all vendors and distributors to lie face down and descended on them. One of the vendors who tried to take a picture with his phone was arrested, brutally assaulted and had his phone seized and destroyed by the rampaging soldiers.
A source who spoke to Saharareporters from the scene said that the soldiers were specifically looking for some newspapers namely; Leadership, The Nation, Punch, Vanguard and DailyTrust. The soldiers claimed the newspapers targeted published a report on Monday that portrayed the Nigerian military in a bad light.
It has also been reported that several newspaper delivery vans were impounded and prevented from carrying out scheduled delivery of the affected newspapers across the country. Also, the soldiers also prevented journalists from covering the siege.
It would be recalled that a similar incident happened in Lagos on Thursday where soldiers destroyed all the newspapers being taken to the airport and also papers taken to the Northern and Southern parts of Nigeria.
The attack on newspapers has attracted public umbrage as press freedom advocates have described them as Draconian and a return to military era repression.
Yesterday the military authorities described the raid as "normal security routine check" according to the Defense spokesperson, Chris Olukolade.