Enugu LG Election: NUJ Condemns Attack On Journalists, Seeks Compensation For Victims
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Enugu State Council has condemned the attack by gunmen on some journalists on local government election duty in the state.
Chairman of the union, Comrade Sam Udekwe, in a statement on Wednesday, while expressing his concerns, also called on the government to ensure adequate compensation for the victims.
His comments come days after a team of four reporters from the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) and one from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had run into the gunmen at Obeagu, Enugu South Local Government Area.
The masked armed men came with Sienna and Toyota Highlander vehicles and shot sporadically, scaring away voters, election officials, observers and journalists.
As the gunmen turned their attention to the oncoming ESBS branded bus on election duty, most of the journalists in the bus scampered for safety.
However, one of the reporters, Chigozie Alex-Nwafor and the bus driver, Ebuka Ogbozor, were held back in the bus only to be released after receiving machete cuts.
The NUJ chairman described the unprovoked attack as morally reprehensible and an incident that must be condemned by every Nigerian.
“I find it inexplicable that journalists have suddenly become endangered species even while discharging their constitutional duties.
“This type of act against innocent citizens must not be allowed to take roots in the society,” he said.
Udekwe appealed to security agencies in the state to be alive to their responsibilities of protecting lives and security.
He also called on the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission and the media organisations whose reporters were injured to pay commensurate compensations to all the victims.
“Journalists should also have it at the back of their minds that they must be alive to report. Therefore, our safety should always be our utmost concern each time we are in the field,” Udekwe said.