General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), former Military President, says the attempts to cow the media into silence will fail.
The government has been accused of trying to muzzle the media several times, an allegation it denies.
Twitter’s ban, directives from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to media houses and some bills before the National Assembly had triggered a backlash.
IBB said Nigerians are resilient and will fight such tendencies in an interview with ARISE TV at his hilltop residence in Minna, the capital of Niger State, on Friday.
Media stifling attempts will not work. It will not be allowed by the media and the public. It would be a mistake to try to clip the media because they are an essential part of society and should be allowed to do their jobs.
In addition, he applauded Nigerians for their resilience, courage, and determination in not allowing their leaders to ride roughshod over them.
With the resilience of Nigerians, the country can make a great comeback, according to the former military ruler.
“Nigerians won’t allow Nigeria to become a one-party state. They will talk, demonstrate and engage the leadership in all sorts of things.”
According to IBB, the main problem of the country was the “tyranny of the elites”, which caused insecurity.
“There is a disconnect between leadership and following. The country no longer has co-values that can be defended at any time. It is imperative that leaders understand Nigeria and Nigerians, and use their intellect for the benefit of the people.”
According to him, the way the economy is now is too controlled; we need to open it further, tap into the God-given talents of the people.
He, however, said he was optimistic that the country has not collapsed, and that the leaders are still trying their best to keep it moving.