NUJ condemns attack on journalists by thugs
Shuaibu Usman Leman, National Secretary

The Nigerian Union of Journalists has condemned the invasion of a press centre in Kaduna and attack of its members by some people suspected to be political thugs.

The invasion and attack were carried out by the people during a press conference organised by All Progressives Congress members of the National Assembly.

According to a statement by the National Secretary of the union, Shuaibu Usman Leman, the attack on the journalists and some politicians, was the latest in recent time.

The union said the development was a clear indication that such attack was not going to abate soon.

It also said that such an attack was a way of curtailing press freedom.

The statement reads:  “Some desperate politicians who are bent on destroying Journalism and Journalists in Kaduna have continued with their dastardly acts on the media.

“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 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.

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“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 prioritise issues of security and safety of Journalists not only in Kaduna State but throughout the country as critical components of their programmes.”