Nigerian Union has again decried the continuing brutalization of journalists by uniformed men across the country
The union in a release signed by Secretary NUJ FCT Council Rafat Salami, said the unpatriotic act was becoming alarming, appearing to be a deliberate attempt to undermine the journalism profession, demean journalists, intimidate journalists into silence, and also an attempt to deny Press the opportunity to perform its constitutional duties as enshrined in Section 22 of the 1999 constitution and by implication putting our democracy in peril.
NUJ condemned the attack, assault and brutalization of Mr Bonaventure Melah, the Managing Editor of Daily Times on Tuesday 22 May by Vehicle Inspection Officers VIO while the Nigeria police watched and failed to rescue the journalist.
The union maintained that security agencies apparently have a clandestine agenda of humiliating journalists and also united in the perpetration of crimes against journalists.
The latest victim, Bonaventure Melah was said to be carrying out his legitimate duty where he was covering a fracas between VIO and Taxi drivers in Maitama which had caused serious breach of public peace.
The VIO on sighting his camera , pounced on him, ceased and smashed his IPAD with which he was using to record VIO’s impunity against taxi drivers.They as well beat him up and also tore his clothes, just for performing his duties.
The NUJ therefore called on government to halt the continuing impunity for crimes against journalists.,and also urged government to investigate and bring the perpetrators to book.
NUJ reaffirmed its commitment to pursue the case and the previous attacks on journalists to the full extent of the law.
“We also demand the immediate resignation or sack of Wadata Bodinga Director, Directorate of Road Traffic Services for refusing to even begin investigation into the case days, after it was reported to them.
We have had enough, we shall not tolerate any other attack on journalists and the FCT shall hold a protest to raise global awareness on the dangers journalists face in the execution of our job.
All journalists are hereby put on notice that within the next few days, we shall hold a protest to demand for the respect and protection of our right to and access to information and dissemination of same.” NUJ stated.