By Charly Agwam, Bauchi
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has directed all media organizations in Bauchi state to suspend coverage of all police activities in the state after an assault on a journalist in an event in the state metropolis.
The Union while reacting to an attack on the reporter of Africa Independent Television (AIT) in Bauchi, Nagari Damina Yusuf by the Police Special Squad at his duty post, gave the directive in a press release signed by the State Chairman Umar Sa’id and Secretary Isah Garba Gadau and issued at the end of its emergency meeting on Friday.
“Bauchi Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists has noted with dismay, the uncivilized manner in which the Nigeria Police is adopting brutality as part of its tradition, especially against the Journalists.
“The union condemns in strong terms the negative action of the Rapid Response Squad of the Bauchi Police Command that molested and injured one of its members, Damina Yusuf of the AIT on Thursday 30th July 2021 while covering students protest at the Bauchi College of Agriculture, Yelwa who was later admitted at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.
“Based on this barbaric act of the police, the union has directed its members to suspend with immediate effect, coverage of all activities of the police in the state until the perpetrators of the act are fished out and prosecuted in addition to the proper payment of compensation and settlement of medical bills of the victim,” the union said.
Vanguard’s findings revealed that the reporter was brutalised, molested while his camera, laptop computer, microphone with AIT logo, mobile phones, modem, and wallet containing a substantial amount of money among other belongings were seized by the Police.
The NUJ further called on the Bauchi state government to consider the establishment of a standing panel of inquiry to hear cases of security brutality against citizens in the state, noting that this is the fifth time in the last year that journalists have been brutalised by policemen while carrying out their legitimate duties in the state.