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NGE mourns slain journalist

LAGOS — The Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, grieves over the unconscionable murder of another journalist,  Mr. Edo Ugbagwu, a Judicial reporter of The Nation newspapers. The NGE commiserates with his family and colleagues at The Nation newspapers as he is buried this weekend in Oturkpo in Benue State.

A statement by the President of NGE, Mr Gbenga Adefaye said: “NGE sees this murder as one too many, coming after the unresolved murder of Godwin Agbroko of ThisDay newspapers, Bayo Ohu of The Guardian newspapers, Abayomi Ogundeji of ThisDay newspapers and others in recent times. The catalogue is frightening and the NGE wails: who benefits from the murder of journalists?

“It is a pathetic commentary on our regard for the sanctity of human lives that since the October 19, 2006 letter-bomb killing of Mr. Dele Giwa, the first Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch magazine,  many journalists like Bagauda Kalto, Omololu Falobi, formerly of The Punch, Tunde Oladepo of The Guardian  have had their lives wasted while the security agencies have proved incapable of resolving the killings.

“Every time a citizen, particularly a journalist is murdered and the security agencies act helplessly, the faith in the ability of the Nigerian state to protect its own is undermined.

“Whenever a journalist is killed, debate is muffled, free speech is trampled on the ground and the nation dives into the cavé, into a state of fear and dances away from decency and civilisation.

“The death of Mr Edo Ugagwu, however, calls for a review of strategy by the press: to go beyond expression of outrage. We must share valuable information and collaborate in our own peculiar ways to fish out murderers of pressmen who are obviously out to intimidate all of us away from the path of freedom. It is a campaign that the media must undertake.”

….As AGF condoles with family

By Innocent Anaba

LAGOS — THE Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, SAN, has sent his condolence to the family and colleagues of Mr Edo Ugbagwu.

In a statement by Special Assistant, Media and Special Duties to the Attorney-General, Mr Onyema Omenuwa, the Minister said he was particularly “pained and disappointed that in a civilised society like ours, some persons still resort to killing for reasons that could be addressed legally.

“The Attorney-General has, therefore, urged the Police to rise up to the occasion with this latest killing of a journalist and discharge their constitutionally-assigned role of crime detection, else potential criminals will never be deterred to execute their nefarious deeds.”

Omenuwa explained that “the Minister may not have known the late Edo personally but being a lawyer who practised in the courts until his appointment, the Attorney General appreciates the crucial role Judiciary reporters play in disseminating information about law and legal practitioners.”

FG condemns killings

By Laide Akinboade

ABUJA— THE Federal Government yesterday, condemned the recent slaying of two journalists, Mr. Nathan Dabak and Mr. Sunday Gyang Bewede, of Light Bearers Newspaper, a publication of Church of Christ in Jos, Plateau State.

Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, stated this in seperate letters sent to the families of the slain journalists, saying it is rather sad on the incessant killings of journalists in recent times.

According to the letter, “the slaying of these journalists is another singular tragedy. Although, I never knew them but my heart bleeds at the wanton waste of human lives that has become a staple in news report emanating from different parts of the country. I am especially saddened that harmless journalists would seem to be frequent targets of such killings.

“Our hearts go out to the poor families that were left behind to mourn their loss and to the journalism community depicted by Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, at national and Plateau State.”


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