Lockdown: NUJ Decries Victimization of Members in Katsina

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By Francis Sardauna

The Katsina State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Sunday decried victimization and arrest of its members by the joint security operatives enforcing the lockdown order imposed by the state government.

The union said some of its members from the Katsina State Radio, the state Television Authority and other media houses in the state were being victimized while discharging their constitutional duties.

The state NUJ Chairman, Mr. Tukur Hassan Dan-Ali, who disclosed this in a statement to commemorate the World Press Freedom Day, urged security personnel to desist from such acts in order to sustain the long existing harmonious relationship between journalists and security agencies.

Dan-Ali affirmed that no amount of intimidation or harassment would stop members of the pen profession from conducting their legitimate obligations in the state.

He said: “It is on record that journalists around the globe have at several occasions this year been faced with various challenges in the course of conducting their constitutionally allowed duty. Journalists in Nigeria and Katsina State were equally harassed or victimised at various points in time.

“Here in Katsina State particularly, we are not unaware about the various challenges and arrest faced by some of our members by security agents while on duty especially during this lockdown period caused by the unfortunate spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Some of our members; Abdulkadir Abdullahi of Katsina State Radio, Bishir Yarinci of Katsina State Television and many others were victimized by security agencies while carrying out their primary assignments during this lockdown.

“However, we want to make use of this World Press Freedom Day to assure the good citizens of Katsina State that no amount of intimidation or harassment will stop our members from conducting the globally and constitutionally granted duty of journalism profession.”

He lauded journalists in the state for working day and night “without the required personal protective equipment and palliatives to assist in the enlightenment and sensitisation against the coronavirus pandemic”.