IPC kicks against attack on media
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has condemned in very strong terms, what it described as the unwarranted shooting and killing of unarmed protesters by security men in different parts of the country.
This is coming as the International Press Centre (IPC) in Lagos has expressed concern about latest happenings in the country with respect to the #ENDSARS and #ENDSWAT protests especially the targeting of media institutions and harassment of journalists.
In a statement issued yesterday, NGE urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation to calm frayed nerves, insisting also that there is nothing wrong in actively engaging in dialogue with the aggrieved youths.
The guild sympathised with victims of the shootings and their families and calls for full scale investigation of Tuesday mayhem across the nation, especially the killings and injuries inflicted on protesters at the Lekki, Toll Plaza in Lagos, where security personnel shot and killed some unarmed protesters before the commencement of curfew at 9pm.
NGE noted that there was no need whatsoever for security personnel to use live bullets and therefore, demands that those found culpable should be brought to justice.
The NGE is worried over the dramatic turn the #EndSARS peaceful protests have taken.
The body of editors welcomed the curfew imposed on some states following the apparent hijack of the peaceful #EndSARS protests by hoodlums.
It commended the efforts of these state governments to separate the wheat from the chaff.
NGE however argued that the restriction of movement in parts of the country does not give law enforcers any right to harass and intimidate persons on essential duties, especially journalists who are on the frontline in the discharge of their constitutional duty of gathering, processing and disseminating information.
“The guild will not tolerate the harassment of such journalists. They should be allowed unfettered access to places of interest to them as they strive under this atmosphere of insecurity to carry out their legitimate responsibilities.
“The guild also advises journalists to be security conscious in these trying times.
“The apparent hijack of the protests by hoodlums should not be used as an excuse by the government not to address the legitimate demands of the #EndSARS protesters,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the IPC has also expressed extreme concern about latest happenings in the country with respect to the #ENDSARS and #ENDSWAT protests especially the targeting of media institutions and harrassment of journalists.
In a statement issued yesterday, IPC condemned yesterday’s attack on Television Continental (TVC) as well as the molestation of the journalists and other media professionals working in the establishment by a mob.
IPC equally condemned the assault on some security personnel attached to Channels Television that led to a temporary halt of broadcasts by the station.
IPC also decried the attack on Toyin Yusuf, a journalist with Osun State Broadcasting Corporation and another member of the Nigerian Union of Journalists by some angry youths while covering the protests in the state.
IPC further condemned the prevention of an Arise TV crew from carrying out their legitimate duty at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, by a group of soldiers.
Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, warned that molestation of journalists and other media professionals either by the security agents, mobs or protesters was not acceptable: “The media and journalists have the legitimacy to report the current crisis across the country with a view to bringing truthful account to the citizens and under no circumstances should they be subjected to hardship in the course of doing that. We therefore condemn in totality the various attacks so far recorded and demand that they should stop”.