By Jubril Bada
No fewer than 11 journalists’ aside crew members of some media houses were attacked by security personnel and thugs in the last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
This was contained in a Field Monitor /Incident Reports by International Press Centre (IPC) journalists’ Safety Alert Desk released by its Press Freedom Officer, Melody Akinjiyan yesterday.
The report, which had it that the journalists were attacked in eight states included a female journalist, Adebola Ajayi working with Peoples Gazette suffered physical assault from political thugs in Lagos State during the last polls.
Others are , Gbenga Oloniniran (Punch Newspaper) in Rivers; crews members of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Oyo; Dayo Aiyetan (Executive Director, International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) ,Abuja; Akams James (Daily Post), Bayelsa; Princewell Sede and Keanu Metta of Upfront Magazine, Bayelsa and Joe Kunde and Miebi Bina of Television Continental (TVC), Bayelsa.
Also, Isaac Afolabi of Radio Nigeria, Ondo State; team of journalists led by News Editor of Odenigbo FM, Anambra and Haruna Salihu Muhammed (Wikki Times), Bauchi .
The attacked journalists of the various media houses suffered unlawful arrest and detention, physical assault, intimidation and harassment , damage of vehicle from police and army personnel, political thugs and angry youths during the coverage of the Saturday’s elections.
The centre called for immediate release of Haruna Salihu Muhammed who has spent more than 24 hours in detention.
It also called for sensitization and orientation 9f election -day personnel on the need to accord priority to the protection of journalists whose status is that of frontline workers on election day.
The centre also enjoined political parties to call their supporters to order and desist from threatening and attacking journalists.
In the report , the centre called on the law enforcement and security agencies and INEC on the need to investigate all the cases with a view to prosecuting and meting appropriate punishment .
The centre added that the media being a major stakeholders in the elections should also be given top priority by INEC which should ensure that all accredited journalists are given other necessary toolkits such as car sticker, reflective jackets and tags.
Leave a Reply