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MRA urges police to protect journalists, probe attacks

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Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has called on the police to ensure that, henceforth, all attacks on journalists and other media workers are properly investigated and perpetrators brought to justice.

The call was in reaction to the gruesome murder of a popular radio presenter, Titus Badejo, popularly called ‘Eja Nla’.

Badejo, a presenter with Naija FM, Ibadan, Oyo State, was reportedly killed by two masked men on motorbike about 11.30p.m. when he was leaving a club house, where he also worked as a disc jockey.

The masked men were said to have ordered Badejo and his friends, who were with him, out of the car and asked them to lie on the ground. Thereafter the gunmen shot Badejo and left without taking anything or hurting any of his friends with him.

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Condemning the action, MRA called on the Federal Government as well as security and law enforcement agencies, especially the police and Department of State Services (DSS), to conduct a thorough investigation and ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and prosecuted.

The statement, which was signed by MRA’s Programme Director, Ayode Longe, reads: “The killers of Badejo must be apprehended and prosecuted, to end the impunity in the killing of journalists, which is becoming a culture in Nigeria.

“We cannot accept as normal the fact that the government is failing in its constitutional responsibility and international treaty obligation to ensure the safety and security of citizens, especially journalists.”

Noting Badejo as the 18th journalist killed under the President Muhammadu Buhari government, going by MRA’s records, Longe stressed: “It is scandalous that there is no single instance where those responsible for killing journalists or other media workers have been identified, arrested and prosecuted.”

He observed that in this age of fake news and misinformation, the role of journalists was more important now than ever, adding that by failing to take decisive action to check the constant attacks on journalists, “the government is complicit.”

Longe noted that despite assurances by the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Adewale Osifeso, that investigations were ongoing to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident and apprehend the assailants, “MRA wants to see concrete action taken in the matter.”

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