Politicians, who are desperate and hell-bent on targeting the media with the aim to gag the practitioners, have again, struck in Kaduna, leaving marks and scars on journalists and their guest politicians.
The incident occurred in Kaduna secretariat of the Nigerian Union Journalists at weekend, when thugs stormed the premises during a press conference addressed by an arm of politicians in the state APC.
A statement issued by the national secretary of the Union, Sahuibu Usman Leman, on the incident, dated 30th July, 2017, stated that, “Some desperate politicians, who are bent on destroying Journalism and Journalists in Kaduna, have continued with their dastardly acts on the media.”
Titled ‘ANOTHER ASSAULT ON THE MEDIA,’ Leman stated that “The most recent development is frightening to the Union as it signals clearly that such attacks on the media are not going to abate any soon.
“Political thugs, sponsored by some dangerously reckless members of a political party, invaded the Press Centre, venue of a Press briefing by some APC members of the National Assembly, including Senator Shehu Sani, and attacked both journalists and politicians, destroying media equipment and inflicting bodily harm on some journalists.
“We regret to note that Kaduna is ingloriously attaining notoriety as the deadliest state for journalists in Nigeria to operate with harassment of journalists and increased repression of press freedom. As professionals, whose responsibility is to monitor governance and hold Government accountable to the masses, journalists now live in perpetual fear of being arrested by security operatives or attacked by faceless assailants without any just cause.
“It is worth noting that press freedom is key to achieving credible democracy, and this freedom includes the right to seek and receive information from all available sources to enable formulation of proper opinions to whomsoever one desires, and to do so through whichever means it is feasible to communicate. Such attacks, we believe, are meant to curtail such freedoms.
“In the light of these unabated attacks and intimidation on journalists, we call once more, on the Police and other Agents of the State, to immediately prioritize issues of security and safety of journalists not only in Kaduna State but throughout the country, as critical components of their programs.