A COALITION for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) has condemned the attack on journalists by suspected hoodlums during the campaign tour of Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola.
The attack, which happened in Gbongan, Ayedade local government area of the state on Monday, left no fewer than four members of the state Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Correspondents’ Chapel injured.
A vehicle and properties belonging to the union were also damaged.
The state NUJ chapter has condemned the incident, saying it would no longer tolerate attacks on its members.
The CWPPF has also demanded an investigation into the incident.
In a statement it issued today, the body demanded that those involved in the attack must be fished out and made to face the wrath of the law.
It described as a crime against democracy the several attacks on journalists and observers covering electoral processes and elections.
The coalition lamented that reports on journalists from previous elections had shown that the freedom of the press was not being recognised or respected.
While calling for a stop to the ugly trend, the CWPPF called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to institute mechanisms for protecting journalists and other media professionals on electoral duty.
It also called on the federal government to take a stand for press freedom and renew its respect for the rule of law by directing appropriate agencies of the government to collaborate with the police to bring perpetrators of the attacks on journalists to justice.
The coalition include the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Premium Times, OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative, The Cable, Daily Trust Newspaper, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, and Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ).
Others are the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), Civic Media Lab, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), International Press Centre (IPC), Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Paradigm Initiative, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and HEDA Resources Centre.