Friday, September 24, 2021

Assaults on journalists: NUJ directs media blackout to Bauchi police

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has directed all media organizations in the state to suspend coverage of all police activities in the state.

The union gave the directive in a statement signed by its chairman, Umar Sa’id, and secretary, Isah Garba-Gadau, following recurring assaults on journalists at public functions by the men of the state police command.

Recall that a reporter of African Independent Television, AIT, in Bauchi, Nagari Damina-Yusuf was some time ago assaulted by the police special squad while covering an official assignment.

The statement said: “Bauchi Council of the Nigeria union of Journalists, NUJ, has noted with dismay, uncivilized manner of Nigeria Police in adopting brutality as part of its tradition especially against the Journalists.

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“The union condemned in strong terms the negative action of the Rapid Response Squad of the State Police command that molested and injured one of its member, 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 disclosed.

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According to the journalist union, the way and manner members of the Nigeria Police Force brutalise, moleste and harass reporters in the state is barbaric.

The NUJ, therefore, 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.

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