LAGOS (AFP) – The Nigerian Union of Journalists on Sunday called for an investigation into the killing of a colleague by suspected Islamists in the restive city of Maiduguri, the first deadly attack targetting the media.
“We totally condemn this dastardly killing of our colleague and urged government to conduct proper investigations so as to bring his killers to book,” Garba Mohammed, president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), told AFP.
He said Zakariyya Isa was a cameraman with the state-run Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Maiduguri before he was killed on Saturday evening in front of his house shortly after leaving a mosque.
Mohammed described the killing as “unfortunate because Zakariyya was not known to have offended anyone through his professional job.”
He said the journalist had been buried according to Muslim rites, but vowed that the union would meet over the incident on Monday.
“The killing has further demonstrated the growing spate of insecurity in the country and the need for government to urgently confront the Boko Haram challenge,” he said.
He said government should open dialogue with Boko Haram with a view to ending the spates of bomb and gun attacks by the sect in recent months.
Witnesses said Zakariyya was shot dead by gunmen who trailed him to his house, a few metres from the mosque.
The attack happened in the northern city of Maiduguri, where the sect has been most active.
While most of its attacks have occurred in Nigeria’s northeast, Boko Haram also claimed responsibility for the August 26 bomb blast at UN headquarters in Abuja that killed at least 23 people.
Saturday’s killing was the first of its kind targeting journalists in the violence-wracked city.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the killing, last month, Boko Haram threatened to attack media organisations, particularly some foreign media, over what it described as misrepresentation of its activities.