The Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) has called on the Nigerian Police Force and other agents of the state to prioritize issues of security and safety of Journalists. The Union made this statement in the wake of an alleged assault on Journalists in Kaduna when some political thugs invaded the “Press Centre, venue of a Press briefing by some APC members of the National Assembly and attacked both Journalists and politicians, destroying media equipment and inflicting bodily harm on some Journalists.”
In a terse statement, the Union through its National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman, lamented the continued attack on the fourth estate of the realm by agents of government which ought to protect Journalists from all forms of danger they face in the society. The statement read in part: “In the light of these unabated attacks, we call on the Police and other Agents of the State, to immediately prioritize issues of security and safety of Journalists not only in Kaduna State but throughout the country as critical components of their program
The statement added that “desperate politicians who are bent on destroying Journalism and Journalists in Kaduna have continued with their dastardly acts on the media”
The most recent development it said “is frightening to the Union as it signals clearly that such attacks on the media are not going to abate any soon.”
“We regret to note that Kaduna is ingloriously attaining notoriety as the deadliest state for Journalists in Nigeria to operate with harassment of Journalists and increased repression of press freedom”
The statement further stated that “As professionals whose responsibility is to monitor governance and hold Government accountable to the masses, Journalists now live in perpetual fear of being arrested by security operatives or attacked by faceless assailants without any just cause”.
It stated further that “It is worth noting that press freedom is key to achieving credible democracy and this freedom includes the right to seek and receive information from all available sources to enable formulation of proper opinions to whom so ever one desires and to do so through whichever means it is feasible to communicate. Such attacks we believe are meant to curtail such freedom.”