Journalists staged a walk in Lagos, Thursday, to protest the “incessant attacks and brutalization” of their colleagues.
By Ben Ezeamalu
The journalists, who are members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State chapter, also threatened a legal action against those involved in the assaults.
Recently, journalists in the state have come under severe attack by security agencies as well as members of the public.
Last week, Benedict Uwalaka, Leadership Newspaper’s photojournalist, was brutally attacked by mortuary attendants at the morgue of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
This week, Tunde Ogundeji and Idowu Ogunleye, Photo Editors at Nigerian Compass and The News/P.M. News were attacked by passengers hanging on a moving train for taking their photos, as they approached Oshodi.
“Enough is enough. We have had enough of brutalization of journalists on their beats,” Deji Elumoye, NUJ Lagos Chairman, said.
“The National President of the NUJ is aware of our stand….We have informed our lawyer to commence criminal proceedings against the attackers,” Mr. Elumoye added.
The Lagos NUJ Chairman also said that attacks on journalists have become “incessant and worrisome.”
“The council is particularly concerned about the recurring attacks and harassment of journalists by security personnel and members of the public,” Mr. Elumoye said.
“We are also insisting that those involved in the assault on Uwalaka be brought to justice.”
The journalists began their march from the Ladi Lawal Press Centre, Ikeja, brandishing placards – ‘We Must Resist These Brutality,’ ‘Lagos Journalists Say No To Public Assault Of Members. Enough Is Enough,’ ‘SSS, Police, General Public, Stop These Assaults On Nigerian Journalists’ – as they made their way to the Lagos State Governor’s office.
Silver Emeka, Secretary, Lagos NUJ, said that journalists though regarded as “the Fourth Estate of the Realm” have become “endangered species.”
“The three others in the estate are constantly protected by the security agencies, but for us, we are left to our fate,” Mr. Emeka said.
“These incessant harassment should stop forthwith because if it continues, we are going to take the laws into our hands and I mean it,” he added.