COMMITTEE to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in a report in Monday, February 27 said at least 14 journalists and media workers were harassed, attacked or detained while covering Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections across Nigeria.
Some of the journalists include Executive Director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) Dayo Aiyetan, a reporter with the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) Adesoka Ikulajolu and the Founder, WikkiTimes, Haruna Mohammed Salisu, who is still in police custody without charge.
The CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, Angela Quintal called for Salisu’s immediate release and apprehension of all those involved in intimidating journalists.
“Nigerian authorities should immediately and unconditionally release journalist Haruna Mohammed Salisu, and bring to account all those responsible for intimidating and attacking at least 13 other journalists and media workers.
“Press freedom is an integral component of Nigerian democracy, and the media should be able to cover national polls without fear of reprisals,” Quintal said.
Other journalists harassed during the election are: 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 recording a man attempting to disrupt the voting process at a polling unit around the town hall.
The thug’s ally, upon sighting Aiyetan, ordered him to stop recording and he complied immediately.
However, they, along with others, attacked him within seconds, dispossessing him of his phone, car keys and other valuables. One of the assailants also attempted to stab him with a knife.