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Election: NUJ condemns attacks on journalists


The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has condemned the attacks on voters and journalists during the general election by Security Personnel.

Specifically, the Union expresses serious concern by the conduct of Policemen in Port Harcourt who assaulted a journalist and political thugs in Ibadan, Oyo State who attacked voters, including Journalists.

The NUJ Election Situation Room set up at the Union’s National Secretariat, Abuja, recorded an incident where a reporter with The PUNCH, Gbenga Oloniniran, was arrested by policemen near the residence of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in Rumuiprikon, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.

Oloniniran, was brutalised by the policemen for attempting to take their pictures when they were assaulting a male voter at a polling unit close to Governor Wike’s polling unit at Wimpey Junction, Rumuepirikom, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Also, a vehicle belonging to the News Agency of Nigeria crew members on election duty around the Liberty area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was among vehicles attacked by youths who were allegedly protesting bad governance in the country.

Reacting while considering the preliminary report from the NUJ Election Situation Room in Abuja today, the NUJ President, Comrade Chris Isiguzo expresses worry that at this crucial time of transition, policemen still vent their anger on Journalists while some politicians continue to devise dubious ways and means of trying to disrupt the political process.

He noted that journalists take great personal and professional risks to collect, process and disseminate news and information to millions of citizens, yet some security operatives and some unscrupulous political Actors continue to plot evil against media professionals and their equipment.

The President warned that the NUJ will not accept this ugly trend where the number of journalists that suffer various acts of impunity across the country and attacks on media equipment and facilities increases during elections.

Attacks like these, Comrade Isiguzo notes pose great danger to democracy. He therefore calls on the Inspector General of Police and other Security Chiefs to come out with a better and sustainable strategy in securing Journalists while on election duties.

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