66 Nigerian journalists, 3 media houses attacked in 2022 – IPC

SIXTY-SIX Nigerian journalists and three media houses suffered diverse forms of attacks in 2022, according to the International Press Centre (IPC).

The Programme Officer of the International Press Centre, Melody Akinjiyan, disclosed this on Friday, May 5, while presenting a report on attacks on journalists in 2022 at the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) media roundtable in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The event was organised by the IPC in partnership with the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Oyo State Council, and sponsored by the Open Society Foundation.

Akinjiyan said the 66 reported attacks on journalists in 2022 was a worrisome rise compared to the 40 cases recorded in 2021.

She listed the types of attacks as: physical assault (24); abduction (7); gun attack (1); threats to life (2); threat to disclose source/intimidation (2); invasion (1); media shutdown (1) and robbery (1).

Others were denial of access to information (1), harassment (2), unlawful arrest and detention (21), hacking of account (1) and threat to sanction/payment of fine (2).

According to her, out of the 66 journalists attacked, 56 were males and 10 were females.

She noted that 13 of them were print journalists, 26 were in broadcasting, 24 were online media practitioners and three others.

“Twenty-six of the journalists are from the South-West, 16 from North-Central, 10 from South-South, six from North-East, four from North-West and 10 from South-East.

“The states where the incident happened are Zamfara, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kwara, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Enugu, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Cross River and FCT Abuja,” she said.

Akinjiyan said the various attacks, as reported, were allegedly carried out by security agencies, political thugs, armed robbers and militant groups like the Islamic State’s of West Africa Province (ISWAP).

She however, called on journalists to demonstrate greater sense of solidarity in dealing with attacks on media and abuses on rights of colleagues in the profession.

She further urged journalists to always bring issues of journalists’ attack, safety, freedom and welfare to the front burner, adding that the figures compiled were the only reported of the several unreported cases.

On May 3, The ICIR reported that the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) decried what it described as attempts to criminalise journalism practice in the country.

The body of Editors said the freedom of the media is needed for the protection of all other human rights.

“We share the popular notion that freedom of the media is indispensable for protecting all other human rights. Instances abound where inhuman treatment, torture, corruption, misuse of power, impunity and nepotism were exposed because of the reports by the media.

“Disturbing signs of repression, violations of media freedom and several cautious attempts to criminalise journalism practice have been observed in the past few years in our country. There have been different forms of control, censorship, and pressure over the content of mass media in Nigeria, especially the broadcast stations, which have hindered their independence and pluralism,” NGE said in a statement.

The NGE also called on the incoming administration the responsibility to launch purposeful, long-lasting policies and initiatives that support journalists’ safety, media freedom, and freedom of expression.

Similarly, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in a report on Monday, February 27 said at least 14 journalists and media workers were harassed, attacked or detained while covering the Presidential and National Assembly elections across Nigeria.






     

     

    Some of the journalists harassed during the election are: Executive Director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) Dayo Aiyetan, reporter with The Cable Bolanle Olabimtan, Punch newspaper reporter Gbenga Oloniniran, a reporter of the Peoples Gazette Ajayi Adebola and Daily Post reporter, Akam James.

    Princewill Sede and Jeany Metta, Publisher and Managing Editor of the Upfront News magazine, were also attacked in Bayelsa, while Joe Kunde and Miebi Bina, reporter and camera operator for the TVC were harassed in the same state.

    The ICIR reported that political thugs attacked its Executive Director, Aiyetan at the Angwan Fulani Town Hall area of Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) while he was covering the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

    Aiyetan was attacked while recording a man attempting to disrupt the voting process at a polling unit around the town hall.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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