Military Personnel Assault Journalist In Niger, NUJ Reacts

 

A military personnels on Sunday attacked journalists who were on official assignments, covering the governorship and House of assembly elections in Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger state.

Witnesses says the soldiers who had mounted a road block exactly at the front of the Landmark Radio Station in Kontagora town, further threatened to shoot the reporter for passing through the blocked portion of the road.

It was gathered that an under-aged boy shifted the plank on the road to enabled the reporters who were Landmark Radio staff to pass, and this made soldiers subject the lad to various punishments.

Uncomfortable with the situation, the journalists (names withheld), explained to the said military corporal what had transpired but the infuriated soldier threatened to shoot one of the reporters, ordering him to take over the punishment metted out to the young boy.

The journalists tried to identify themselves with their tags and were even wearing their press jackets, however, the soldier would not give them any listening ear.

It took the intervention of the leader of the military group who is a senior officer (Lieutenant Colonel) to resolve the matter, still the soldier now identified only as last corporal Samson, remained adamant.

NUJ Reacts

Meanwhile, the Niger State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), has condemned in strong terms , the attack the journalists.

A statement by the State Secretary of NUJ Comrade Usman Chiji, described the attack as unfortunate and barbaric, considering the importance of the general elections to national development.

The Union said it was worried because the attack on the innocent journalists negates the collective resolve by Nigerians to guarantee the sustenance of democracy in the country.

The body lamented that despite the fact that, the journalists presented their identification cards, as well as wearing press jackets and tags, the military personnel could not listen but threatened to deal with them.

The Union then called on the authorities of the Nigerian Army in Kontagora, to investigate the matter and ensure that the military personnel who committed the act was brought to book and ensure that justice prevails.

 

 

Soonest Nathaniel

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