IPC condemns attacks on media
The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, Nigeria, has condemned recent attacks on three Nigerian journalists as well as the clampdown on media organisations in The Gambia.
According to the media monitoring report update by IPC, security forces have arrested three Nigerian Journalists in recent times. They are Nsebiet John of The Ink, an Akwa Ibom-based newspaper, who was on January 6, 2017, detained for overnight in police cell, arraigned and granted bail to the sum of N250,000 in Akwa-Ibom State over a story he published alleging that the Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo, “pockets” N250 million monthly as security votes from the state governor.
Jerry Edoho, News Editor of Ibom Nation, a local newspaper based in Akwa-Ibom, was also arrested in January in Uyo by police personnel from the force headquarters in Abuja over a Facebook post he published referencing a rumored Dana Air crash and asking his readers to help verify the story.
Daniel Ekiugbo, Publisher of Ugheli Times magazine in Delta, who was whisked away from his private residence on October 25, 2016 by a crack team of men of Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) is still being detained over an article he published on the minister of state for petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said it was certainly not acceptable in a democratic system of governance that journalists would continue to be at the receiving end of aggression by persons in authority.
According to him, “It is quite unfortunate that individuals in authority derive pleasure in being threats to journalists. It is certainly an abuse of power to arrest a journalist or shut down a station because you are not satisfied with what is being published or broadcast. There are better measures to take if you feel discredited.”
According to IPC, not less than three journalists have been arrested in Nigeria and two private radio stations shut down in The Gambia, a country undergoing political turmoil over disputed elections. It would be recalled that Teranga FM and Hilltop Radio stations in capital, Banjul, The Gambia, were closed on January 8, 2017 by The Gambian security forces under the instruction of President Yahya Jammeh.”
IPC, therefore, called on the leaders of Nigeria and The Gambia to use their positions to take quick actions in favour of individuals and organisations affected.
IPC also applauded Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and civil society groups like SERAP and Grassroots Mobilisers, which have risen to condemn the acts. The journalism watchdog organisation urged other civil activists to continue to condemn and take actions in rising against acts that infringe, not only on journalists’ rights, but also rights of citizens in general to safeguard democracy.
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