Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Bauchi State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the ongoing attacks on journalists and media houses, particularly the recent demolition of Fresh FM, Ibadan, by the Oyo state Government, describing the act as reckless.
The Chairman of the council, Ibrahim Mallam Goje told journalists thursday during a peaceful protest at the Council’s Secretariat in Bauchi that NUJ is worried by the constant harassment of journalists and media houses across the country by various governments.
According to him, “the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) is particularly disturbed by the seemingly deliberate efforts of some governments and their agents to ceaselessly attack and assault some sections of the Nigerian media, as well as preventing such media houses and their journalists from carrying out their legitimate duties under the guise of enforcing the law.
“We are particularly alarmed by the reckless action of the government of Oyo State, which demolished the premises of Fresh FM in Ibadan. For whatever reason, the destruction of the media house by agents of Governor Abiola Ajimobi, was insensitive and punitive and also an attempt to stifle the media,” he said.
Goje said that the union condemns such acts of impunity and reiterates its position of working with stakeholders to promote a safer environment for media organisations and journalists to operate.
He said the union would strive to combat relentlessly the present unacceptable level of impunity plaguing the country and deterring aspiring young Nigerians from embracing the profession and forcing those in it already to leave out of frustration.
“The media will not be intimidated by such callousness of some politicians but would rather remain resolute in promos more positive narrative on the the country by encouraging, without departing from a rigorous professional approach, developmental Journalism and Democratic values,” he said.
The NUJ Chairman appealed to the federal and state governments and security agencies to take effective measures for better protection of journalists while carrying out their legitimate duties.
Also speaking, the Deputy National President, Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Umar Sa’idu, said attacks on journalists and media houses were attacks on democracy.
“We oppose any action, legislation, regulation or political pressure that limits freedom of the press. Acts of intimidation and violence against journalists in Nigeria have to end for democracy to survive because attacks on media institutions and Journalists are attacks against democratic rights, including the right of the public to know the truth about the way they are governed.
“We are calling for urgent justice for attacked Journalists in the country through investigation and diligent prosecution of the alleged perpetrators,” Sa’idu said.