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Coronavirus Lockdown: IPC Decries Attacks On Journalists By Security Agents

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The International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned the attack on journalists by security operatives in a bid to enforce Coronavirus lockdown in Nigeria.

The Director of the centre, Lanre Arogundade, in a statement made available to POLITICS NIGERIA, said assault on the press is a violation of rights as the role of the media during the on-going pandemic is to provide credible information that would enable the citizens to stay well informed.

He said: “the latest of such incidents was the Police raid on the secretariat of the Adamawa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Yola during which the State Chairman of the Council, Mr. Donald Dedan was molested and others arrested according to a report by Fombina Times, dated April 2, 2020.

“Even if the policemen were of the opinion that the journalists were contravening any lawful order of the state government, the appropriate thing would have been to present a warrant of arrest or in the absence of that politely request the journalists to report at the police station. But resorting to jungle justice including beating with sticks and gun butts was an uncivilised and wrongful approach to enforcing law and order”, Mr. Arogundade noted.

He also noted how the Delta State Task Force on Environment also attacked the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council, Mr Michael Ikeogwu, as well as the Correspondent of the Daily Post, Mr. Mathew Omonigho, who reportedly had his Nikon D3100 camera destroyed, according to a report by the Nigerian Tribune dated April 1, 2020.

“IPC said rather than assault journalists, the security operatives should protect them. “Anything to the contrary would constitute an unacceptable assault on democratic principles”.

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