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NUJ petitions Jonathan over killings of journalists

By Taye Obateru

Jos — The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan over the unresolved cases of the murder of journalists in the country, urging him to take steps to guarantee their safety.

The letter signed by NUJ National Secretary, Mr. Shuaibu Leman, said:  “We are constrained to write to you to protest the killings over the years of journalists in the country without any reasonable response by the police in fishing out the perpetrators of such heinous crimes and bringing them to book.

“The recent incident was the murder on Saturday, April 24 in Gidan Bako area of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State of Nathan Dabak and Sunday Gyang Bwede of The Light Bearer newspapers Jos. That same day, Edo Sule Ugbagwu of The Nation newspapers was gunned down and killed by some unknown persons in his house in Lagos.

“These sad developments speak volume about the practice of journalism in Nigeria, where security remains a challenge.”

It made reference to other unresolved cases of murder of journalists and urged the police to bring the perpetrators to book.

“Sir, it is pertinent to remind the nation that acts of impunity against media and journalists can no longer be tolerated and the sooner Nigeria wakes up to its responsibility of ensuring security of lives and property, the better for all of us,” the letter said.

The union, therefore, called on the police to live up to their responsibility of getting those behind the murders with a view to bringing them to book.

Earlier on Sunday, a memorial service was held for the eight journalists in the state who died in a crash three years ago while on official assignment at the Shallom Baptist Church, Jos.

The presiding priest, Rev. Nathan Nwachukwu, lamented that journalists were always exposed to hazards without protection, regretting that killings and assassinations had now shifted to journalists as they are just being killed like fouls.


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