Shooting of The Nation’s correspondent in Osun is an act of aggression, terrorism, says HURIWA
Oyetola condemns shooting
Civil society group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned operatives of the Osun Police Command that allegedly shot The Nation Correspondent, Toba Adedeji, for reportedly covering students protest at Orita Olaiya.
The National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, yesterday, described the action of the Police in Osun State, as an act of aggression and misplaced terrorism directed against the media.
According to the group, it is regrettable that the Nigeria Police force has not learnt any positive lessons from the nation-wide protests two years ago, in which millions of Nigerians demonstrated against police brutality, aggression and gross human rights violations.
HURIWA lamented that due to the ineffective leadership of the Police Service Commission, there is a steady spike in cases of professional misconduct, and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reorganise the hierarchy of the Police Service Commission given that the current leadership has become lethargic and unproductive.
“It is simply an act of terrorism against media freedoms for the men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force maintained at public costs to turn their guns against media workers whose profession revolves around bringing information about the activities of government that affects the living conditions of the citizens and also monitor how the government officials are delivering on their mandates, would now be subjected to horrendous act of terrorism by the operatives of the Nigeria Police force.
“ The reason the police operatives have continued to torture and kill journalists is because the cases that have happened in recent times were swept under the carpets.
“The moment the media becomes too scared to monitor the activities of government then democracy will die a natural death,” it stated.
HURIWA also tasked the Inspector-General of Police Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba, to ensure that the police operatives comply with the Police Act of 2020 which obliges them to adhere strictly to the due process of the law and respect fundamental human rights of the citizen, including journalists.
MEANWHILE, Governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, has condemned the shooting of the Nation’s Newspaper correspondent, Toba Adedeji, and another citizen by some trigger-happy police officers at Olaiya, Osogbo, the State capital on Tuesday.
Adedeji and the yet-to-be-identified citizen were reportedly shot by some overzealous policemen who were trying to disperse a group of people who had gathered to mourn the death of Abiola Afolabi, who was allegedly killed by police officers last month.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, Governor Oyetola, who is currently in Abuja for some pressing state and national matters, said shooting at unarmed citizens was completely unacceptable, irresponsible and condemnable, adding that the sad incident could have been avoided.
He noted that it was unfortunate that the sad incident occurred while the citizens were mourning the death of a loved one.
According to Oyetola, such unlawful act by the police could aggravate an already- tensed situation that could lead to breakdown of law and order in the State. He, therefore, called for the thorough investigation of the incident, with a view to ensuring that the culprits are decisively dealt with in accordance with the law of the land.