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NUJ protests against harassment, intimidation of journalists nationwide

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President, National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abdulwaheed Odusile (left); Director, Centre for Free Speech, Richard Akinnola and others during a protest tagged: Impunity Against Journalists And Media Houses in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), yesterday protested against the incessant harassment, arrests, intimidation and detention of journalists in different parts of the country.

In Owerri, Imo State, Chairman of NUJ Caretaker Committee, Francis Ebunugwo and National Trustee, Fidel Onyeneke, as well as immediate past chairman of the council, Innocent Igwe led journalists in the protest around the NUJ Secretariat.

They carried placards with inscriptions: Enough is Enough of Harassment and Detention of Journalists; Journalists Should be Allowed to Do Their Job and There Should be Press Freedom in Nigeria, among others.

Addressing the protesters, Ebunugwo urged the Federal Government to address security agencies reckless impunity against journalists in the country.

“We say enough is enough. Those we suffered to put in power cannot betray us.

They cannot stop us from doing our duties, destroying things we put in place. We cannot stop until the impunity stops,” he said

Speaking, Onyeneke, said no country disregards journalists and survives, stressing that there was a link between government and the governed.

He said the illegality should stop, wondering the rational for the clampdown on journalism in the country, adding: “This has to stop. We appeal to the Federal Government to fully implement the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.”

Igwe described journalism as the voice of the voiceless, saying those harassing journalists should know that journalists carry out their obligation in accordance with section 39 of the Constitution.

Also yesterday in Jalingo, Taraba State, protested against the arrests and harassment of journalists by security operatives and the Federal Government.

Led by its Chairman, Jovita Shafe and some former leaders of the union, journalists who commenced their protest at the union’s secretariat caused a gridlock in Jalingo.

Shafe stressed the need to allow journalists to do their job without fear of harassment, arrests and intimidation, adding: “Journalists fought the military out of power and so politicians should stop making journalists second class citizens.”

In Umuahia, Abia State and Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, journalists also complied with NUJ’s directive to protest against intimidation of the media.

During the protest at the Press Centre, they urged members of the public to support the struggle for freedom of journalism profession as it obtains globally.


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