IPI Nigeria to keep records of perpetrators of assaults on journalists

THE International Press Institute (IPI) Nigeria has said it will open a black book to keep records of every organisation or individual that assaults journalists in the country.

The President of IPI Nigeria, Musikilu Mojeed, disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed on Tuesday in Abuja

He noted that press freedom has deteriorated under the current administration.

“The records so gathered will be regularly updated and shared periodically with embassies, and all relevant international and human rights groups across the world.

“We’ll use the records to ensure named individuals are held accountable one way or another,” Mojeed said.

He added many Nigerians believe the media was freer and stronger in 2015 than it is now.

According to him, Nigeria was not doing any better in the Freedom in the World Report, an annual report by Freedom House.

“We scored a cumulative 43/100 in the global freedom scores and was ranked a partly free country in the 2022 report, a performance worse than our 2021 showing when we scored 45/100,” he said.

According to him, between 2013 and 2015, Nigeria improved on the annual World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders.

“Nigeria was ranked 115 out of the 180 countries surveyed in 2013, 112/180 in 2014, and 111/180 in 2015.

“But the reverse has been the case since 2016 when we were ranked 116/180.






     

     

    “The situation worsened in the succeeding years. The country was ranked 122/180 in 2017, 119/180 in 2018, 120/180 in 2019, 115/180 in 2020, and 120/180 in 2021.

    “In fact, the 2021 ranking described Nigeria as ‘one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists, who are often spied on, attacked, arbitrarily arrested or even killed,” he said.

    Speaking at the event, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said Nigeria was one of the very few countries in the world where journalists had continued to practice their profession without hindrance, despite the abuse of press freedom.

    The minister said some persons misconstrued the government’s efforts towards ensuring responsible use of social media as an attempt to tamper with press freedom or threaten independent journalism.

    Blessing Otoibhi is a Multimedia Journalist and Anchor host for the News in 60 seconds at The International Center For Investigative Reporting. You can shoot her a mail via [email protected] or connect on Twitter @B_otoibhi

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