THE Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) has urged Governor Bello Matawalle to speak up on the incessant attacks on news media and journalists.
They appealed to him to take prompt measures to end the attacks.
The call came on the wake of attack of the Thunder Blowers newspaper office On Tuesday, January 2022.
The papers headquarters, located at Fadama Plaza, Gusau, in Zamfara State, was vandalised by suspected political thugs on account of a report and analysis on the activities of the Zamfara State government.
Governor Bello Matawalle, whom the media organisation alleges is the sponsor of the attack, is yet to denounce or initiate any investigation aimed at bringing those who are culpable to justice.
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CWPPF says they will continue to condemn, in strong terms, the growing trend of state security attacks on journalists and the vandalisation of media outlets and their equipment.
The rising pattern of attacks and its clear constitutional breach raises worrying concerns for the protection of citizens’ rights, the ability of the state to ensure effective governance, and the statutory obligation of the news media to hold the government and state officials accountable as stipulated by the 1999 constitution, thee group stated.
CWPPF also condemns and demands the immediate and unconditional release of Nelson Omonu, a journalist whisked away by security operatives believed to be working on the orders of Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari.
The coalition said the dangerous trend of constant attacks influenced by political powers threatens the health of the Nigerian news media and the resilience of our country’s democracy.
CWPPF calls on Governors Matawalle of Zamfara State and Bello Masari of Katsina State to take prompt measures to end these attacks on the news media, protect journalists who through their investigative reporting expose corrupt government officials, and institute cautionary and disciplinary actions against state actors who engage in unruly attitudes against journalists and citizens.