International Press Centre Condemns Attacks on Journalists

Joseph Hir of Daily Trust was attacked by thugs during Governor Tanko Almakura's inauguration in Lafia, Nasarawa State, on May 29
Joseph Hir of Daily Trust was attacked by thugs during Governor Tanko Almakura’s inauguration in Lafia, Nasarawa State, on May 29

By Samuel Malik

Following the recent attacks on journalists across the country, the International Press Centre, IPC, has raised concern and called for the “immediate halt to the ugly trend.”

In a statement released by Stella Nwofia, programme officer, Lanre Arogundade, director of the Centre, said three journalists were attacked within one week and had to be taken to hospital for treatment for doing their job of holding political office holders accountable, something that is constitutionally guaranteed.

“The assault on the three journalists was so violent that they had to be hospitalized following the injuries they suffered,” Arogundade said.






     

     

    Hir Joseph of Daily Trust was assaulted by political thugs allegedly loyal to Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Almakura, during his swearing in ceremony in Lafia, the state capital on May 29.

    Five days later, Kamarudeen Ogundele of The Punch was attacked by thugs in Ekiti State near the state assembly complex and close to a police road block. On June 2, Hope Newspaper’s Victor Akinkuolie was also attacked, this time by policemen, in Ondo State.

    “The right of journalists to inquire into and report on the activities of the government including elected executives and legislators as well as state agents is protected by the Nigerian constitution, which in Section 22 enjoins the Nigerian media to monitor governance and hold government accountable to the people, the statement read. “Journalists cannot exercise the right if their lives continue to be endangered. There should be an immediate halt to the ugly trend.”

    While condemning the attacks and calling on Nigerians to do the same, Arogundade asked the affected journalists and their media houses to seek redress in court if the suspects are not apprehended within two days.

     

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