The International Press Centre, IPC, has decried attacks on journalists and other media professionals covering the governorship and House of Assembly elections in some parts of the country including Lagos, Ogun and Rivers States.
According to IPC’s Journalists’-Election-Day-Safety-Alert-Desk, AIT Reporters and cameramen including Henrietta Oke, Amarachi Amushie and Nkiru Nwokedi were molested and prevented from covering the elections at some polling units in Eti-Osa, Ifako-Ijaiye and Amuwo Odofin local government areas by political thugs and hoodlums.
A journalist, Nwokedi was reported to have temporarily lost her phone before it was recovered with the help of Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, men while the other, Amarachi Amushie was rough handled while her camera was damaged and the cameraman beaten in the presence of a political chieftain.
The Alert Desk also confirms that Arise TV News crew reporter Oba Adeoye,
a cameraman Opeyemi Adenihun with the station and a driver Yusuf Hassan was attacked while covering voting in Elegushi area of Lagos.
“The cameraman, Opeyemi Adenihun suffered facial injuries while drones and equipment were seized.”
Also, News Agency of Nigeria’s reporter, Adejoke Adeleye, was among journalists molested in Itori Odo Area of Abeokuta South Local government, in Ogun State where they faced mob attack by political thugs who equally reportedly assaulted INEC officials with axes and allegedly destroyed ballot boxes.
The details also include the denial of access to journalists who tried to capture voting in the polling unit of PDP Governorship candidate in Rivers State by some “overzealous police officers”.
“The policemen refused passage despite the proof of identity provided by the journalists” the report from Rivers stated.
The Lagos-based organisation strongly condemns these unacceptable attacks which constitute both the violation of the fundamental rights of the affected journalists and media workers and major assault on press freedom.
“Following the attacks on journalists during the presidential and national Assembly elections on February 25, we had called on the Police, the Political Parties and all concerned to take measures to protect them today. It is therefore worrisome that such attacks have been repeated”, the Press Freedom and Safety Alert Desk Officer of IPC, Melody Lawal said in a statement on Saturday.
Mrs. Lawal charged the security agencies to thoroughly investigate the various attacks and ensure that the perpetrators face the consequences of their illegal and actions.