Thursday, 21st September 2023

NUJ, Maku flay attack of journalist by security operatives in Nasarawa

By Abel Abogonye (Lafia) and Sunday Aikulola (Lagos)
20 March 2023   |   4:05 am
Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nasarawa State chapter, has condemned the attack on a Breeze FM Director of News by security operatives in Lafia.

[FILE] Mr Labaran Maku

IPC deplores attacks on newsmen, demands investigation

Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nasarawa State chapter, has condemned the attack on a Breeze FM Director of News by security operatives in Lafia.

In a statement signed by the Secretary, Sunday John, the union condemned the unprovoked torture meted out to its member on Saturday during the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

“The Nasarawa council of NUJ received, with shock and dismay, the attack on Edwin Philip, Head of News and Current Affairs, Breeze FM, Lafia, on Saturday while covering the governorship and House of Assembly elections by officials of a federal security agency.

“The attack on the innocent journalists was uncalled for, barbaric and unfortunate. The union is very disturbed because this re-enactment of our unsavory experience is a negative development for our democracy and it is our conviction that Philip has been performing his duty in line with the Constitution and professional ethics,” he stated.

NUJ called on the Commandant of NSCDC in Nasarawa to investigate the infringement of fundamental human rights of the journalists and punish the personnel involved to serve as deterrent to others.

Similarly, the former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, has condemned the torture of Phillip. Maku, who expressed sadness over the issue, noted that the beauty of democracy is freedom of the press. He charged journalists to stand firm in discharging their role, noting that it is a price he and others also paid while practising.

The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, also expressed concern over reported attacks on journalists and other media professionals that covered last weekend’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.

IPC Press Freedom and Safety Alert Desk Officer, Melody Lawal, in a statement yesterday, confirmed that AIT reporters and cameramen, including one Henrietta Oke, Amarachi Amushie and Nkiru Nwokedi, were molested and prevented from covering the elections at some polling units in Lagos by hoodlums.

It was gathered that Nwokedi lost her phone, which was later recovered with the assistance of men of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC). Amushie was manhandled, her camera damaged and the cameraman beaten in the presence of a party chieftain.

The Alert Desk also established that Arise TV News crew, comprising Oba Adeoye, a cameraman, Opeyemi Adenihun, and driver, Yusuf Hassan, were attacked while covering voting in Elegushi area of Lagos. Adenihun suffered facial injuries while drones and equipment were seized.

In Ogun State, a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reporter, Adejoke Adeleye, was among journalists molested in Itori Odo Area of Abeokuta South Local Council, where they faced mob attack by political thugs, who reportedly assaulted Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials with axes and allegedly destroyed ballot boxes.

The details also include denial of access to journalists, who tried to capture voting in the polling unit of PDP governorship candidate in Rivers State by some “overzealous police officers”.

IPC condemned the attacks, saying they constituted both the violation of the fundamental rights of the affected journalists and media workers and major assault on press freedom.

Lawal urged security agencies to thoroughly investigate the various attacks and ensure that the perpetrators face the consequences of their actions.

In this article