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Nigerian journalists, endangered species – NLC

By Victor Ahiuma-Young & Olasunkanmi Akoni

ABUJA — NIGERIA Labour Congress, NLC, has said Nigerian journalists have become endangered species with the latest dastard killing of Mr. Edo Sule Ugbagwu, Judicial Correspondent of The Nation newspapers, and called on Nigerian Police and other security operatives in the country to fish out the killers.

This came even as members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, planned to converge on Lagos on Monday, for a rally to sensitise law enforcement agencies, National Assembly and government at all levels on the need to put a stop to the incessant killing of media professionals in the country

The NLC in a statement by its Acting General Secretary, Comrade Emma Ugboaja, said journalists had suddenly become targets of murder in recent time, particularly in Lagos State and that these cases of premeditated assassinations had added to the hazards media workers go through in the course of duty.

It said these killings had obviously endangered the journalism profession with the ultimate implication of denying the public accurate information that should normally be obtainable in the news media.

According to NLC, “the style of these assassinations has been the same and we are worried that none of the cases has been conclusively investigated and prosecuted by the police, who have in the past made haste to tag such murders as armed robbery.

“We wish to make it known to the Nigerian Police that, until they fish out the killers of Mr. Ugbagwu, Nigerians may be tempted to withhold their confidence in the police and resort to self help, which may eventually lead to anarchy that no decent society deserves.

“While we commensurate with the family of Mr. Ugbagwu for the needless and unfortunate death of their bread-winner, we call on the Lagos State government to, as a matter of necessity, take up the challenge of reassuring residents and visitors of the state of its readiness to ensure security of lives and properties in the state, as the state plans to advance itself to the status of a mega city.”

AC expresses concern

The Action Congress, AC, has expressed serious concern at the rising killing of journalists in the country, following the murder of Ugbagwu in Lagos and two others in Jos — Sunday Bwede and Natan Dabak— last weekend.

In a statement in Lagos, yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it was particularly alarmed at the killing of Ugbagwu, which followed the same pattern as that of Bayo Ohu of The Guardian last year, Abayomi Ogundeji of Thisday in 2008 and Godwin Agbroko also of Thisday before them.

NUJ holds rally Monday

Meanwhile, members of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, across the country will converge on Lagos on Monday for a rally to sensitise law enforcement agencies in Nigeria, the National Assembly and government at all levels on the need to put a stop to the incessant killing of media practitioners in the country.

Rising from an emergency meeting by critical stakeholders in the media industry yesterday at the Lagos NUJ Secretariat in Ikeja, it was resolved that an urgent action be taken to put a stop to the killing of journalists whose lives were terminated in the course of carrying out their constitutional duties.

During the rally which coincides with the World Press Freedom Day and which is to be led by the President of NUJ, Mallam Garba Muhammed, journalists across the country will march to the Police Headquarters and the office of the Lagos State Governor to demand comprehensive investigations into the numerous killings of journalists.




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