US Won’t Compel Journalists To Reveal Sources  – Officials

File photo used to illustrate the story. AFP

 

The US government pledged Monday to steer clear of legal orders that force journalists to reveal their sources, with only rare exceptions, reversing course after revelations of secret efforts to obtain information from the media.

A statement from the agency said it would no longer use the “compulsory legal process” including subpoenas or warrants to obtain records or identify sources from journalists involved in newsgathering activities.

The new policy comes following revelations that former president Donald Trump’s Justice Department secretly obtained phone records of journalists investigating his administration, inducing from CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times.

The statement said the policy shift was made “because a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy.”

It said the new policy applies to reporters, publishers, third-party service providers and others involved in newsgathering, and to physical or digital documents as well as phone records.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the new policy in a memo and called for “a review process to further explain, develop and codify the policy.”

Monday’s announcement comes after news that the Trump administration sought records of journalists investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, while obtaining “gag orders” to keep that effort secret.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month that the use of such orders in leak investigations “is not consistent with the president’s policy direction.”

The Garland memo said exceptions to the policy would be made if the journalist were the subject of an investigation, or was suspected of being a foreign agent or member of a terrorist group, or in cases of “imminent” risk of death or bodily harm.

READ ALSO: Sudan Inflation Soars Above 400% As Discontent Grows

File photo: Former President Donald Trump points at the press box speaks of “Fake News” during his campaign-style rally in Wellington, Ohio, on June 26, 2021.  STEPHEN ZENNER / AFP

 

While the cases involving the Trump administration have drawn scrutiny recently, the policy change addresses a longstanding concern on press freedom and follows several cases where journalists have been threatened with jail for refusing to reveal sources.

“The attorney general has taken a necessary and momentous step to protect press freedom at a critical time,” said Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

“This historic new policy will ensure that journalists can do their job of informing the public without fear of federal government intrusion into their relationships with confidential sources.”

AFP

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographer Killed In Afghanistan

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed in clashes in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar city in Afghanistan on Friday.

 

 

A Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer with the Reuters news agency was killed Friday covering fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban near a border crossing with Pakistan, the media outlet reported, citing an army commander.

Afghan forces were fighting to retake Spin Boldak when Danish Siddiqui and a senior officer were killed in Taliban crossfire, the commander told Reuters.

The agency reported Siddiqui, an Indian national, had been embedded with Afghan special forces in the former Taliban bastion of Kandahar since this week.

“We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region,” Reuters president Michael Friedenberg and editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement.

“Danish was an outstanding journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.”

Reuters said Siddiqui, 38, had earlier reported being wounded in the arm by shrapnel while covering the fighting.

He was treated and had been recovering when Taliban fighters retreated from the fighting in Spin Boldak.

The agency reported an unnamed Afghan commander told them Siddiqui had been talking to shopkeepers when the Taliban attacked again.

It said it was unable to independently verify the details.

Siddiqui was part of a team to share the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis.

The agency said he had worked for them since 2010, covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugees crisis, the Hong Kong protests and Nepal earthquakes.

Afghanistan has long been one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

In May, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked it 122nd out of 180 countries on its latest World Press Freedom Index.

Several journalists, including women, have been killed in targeted attacks since the Taliban and Washington signed a deal in February 2020 that paved the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces.

Prominent television anchors, reporters and freelancers have been shot dead in rush-hour traffic in Kabul and other cities, while scores have been threatened.

Officials blame the Taliban for the murders, although some assassinations have been claimed by the jihadist Islamic State.

Around 1,000 Afghan media workers have left their jobs, an Afghan journalists’ safety committee said in May.

“The threats and violence against journalists have a direct impact on the media and make their work especially difficult,” RSF said.

 

Here is some of his work below.

SENSITIVE MATERIAL. THIS IMAGE MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB: People supporting the new citizenship law beat a Muslim man during a clash with those opposing the law in New Delhi, India, February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

 

A man supporting a new citizenship law throws a stone at those who are opposing the law, during a clash in New Delhi, India, February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Algeria Supreme Court Orders Retrial For Prominent Journalist

A file photo of a court gavel.

 

Prominent journalist Khaled Drareni, a symbol of the struggle for a free press in Algeria, is to face a retrial after the supreme court accepted his lawyers’ cassation appeal on Thursday.

“The supreme court overturned the decision. The cassation appeal of the defence was accepted, so Khaled Drareni will be retried,” Abdelghani Badi, a member of the defence team, told AFP.

“I hope that in this new trial, there will be no pressure on the judiciary, as has been the case before,” he said.

During Drareni’s trial in September, his defence team said there had been “pressure (from the executive) on judges”.

Drareni was arrested in Algiers in March 2020 while covering the pro-democracy Hirak protest movement, which swept former strongman Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power in 2019 and carried on demonstrations to demand a sweeping overhaul of a ruling system in place since Algeria’s 1962 independence from France.

The 40-year-old correspondent for French-language TV5 Monde and press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) was provisionally released last month after almost a year in prison along with dozens of other activists under presidential pardons issued ahead of the Hirak’s second anniversary.

READ ALSO: EU Regulator Calls In Experts Over AstraZeneca Jab

On Thursday, Drareni told AFP he and his defence team had hoped for an end to the proceedings against him but expected the retrial.

“We hope… the new trial… will correct the two trials that I underwent in the first instance and in the appeals court,” he said.

The founder of the Casbah Tribune online news site was sentenced on appeal in September to two years in jail on charges of “inciting an unarmed gathering” and “endangering national unity”.

– Press freedom fight –

The harsh sentence for a media figure outraged Drareni’s fellow journalists and sparked an international support campaign.

He was also accused of having criticised Algeria’s political system on Facebook and of publishing a statement by a coalition of political parties calling for a general strike, according to RSF.

Authorities have charged Drareni with having worked for foreign media outlets without gaining press accreditation — an opaque bureaucratic procedure in Algeria — as well as being an “informer” in the pay of “foreign embassies”.

The former television presenter’s case has become a symbol of the fight for freedom of the press and expression in Algeria, at a time when authorities have cracked down on dissent, detaining and prosecuting activists, opposition figures, journalists and social media users.

Despite the recent release of some 40 political prisoners, around 30 people remain in custody on charges linked to the Hirak uprising or civil liberties, according to prisoners’ rights group CNLD.

RSF ranked Algeria 146 out of 180 countries and territories in its 2020 World Press Freedom Index, a 27-place drop from 2015.

AFP

Journalist Abducted In Rivers Regains Freedom

Chidiebere Onyia

 

A journalist who was abducted last Tuesday, February 9, 2021, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital has regained freedom.

Chidiebere Onyia, a reporter with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) at the Port Harcourt Zonal Office was released at about 11:30 am on Sunday, February 14, 2020.

In a statement by the Police spokesman in Rivers State, Nnamdi Omoni said  “the rescue was made possible due to the intense pressure mounted by the Command as directed by the authorities”.

He explained that the abductors abandoned the journalist who is a nursing mother at a location after becoming aware that the police were closing in on them.

According to him, the freed journalist, Chidiebere Onyia is currently receiving medical attention at an undisclosed facility and will be debriefed and released to reunite with her family.

The police command spokesman described her release on February 14 as a “modest gift to the pen Profession”, while urging journalists in the State to sustain the bond with the command and remain resolute in providing the enabling environment for all to live and do business in Rivers State.

Rivers NUJ Calls For Immediate Release Of Abducted Journalist

Abducted journalist.

 

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Rivers State is asking the Rivers State Police Command to take immediate action to secure the release of a journalist who was abducted in Port Harcourt on Tuesday night.

The victim, Chidiebere Onyia, who is also a nursing mother, is a reporter with the Nigerian Television Authority NTA at the Port Harcourt zonal office.

Mrs Onyia was abducted at gunpoint along the railway line, Woji in the Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on her way home after the close of work at about 8:00 pm.

The Rivers State Council of the NUJ in a statement jointly signed by the Chairman, Stanley Job Stanley and Secretary, Ike Wigodo, on Wednesday condemned the incident, describing it as inhumane and heinous, especially against a journalist and a nursing mother.

The group also asked the police and other security agencies to put a stop to further attacks on journalists as the abduction of Mrs. Chidiebere Onyia is coming less than one month after unknown gunmen attempted to attack the South-South regional Business Manager of Silverbird Television and Head of News, Rhythm FM Port Harcourt, Segun Owolabi.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State Police Command says it has intensified effort to secure the release of the journalist.

Spokesman of the Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni told Channels Television that the vehicle belonging to the journalist has been recovered by the command.

He assured that the Police is committed to protecting everyone living or doing business in Rivers State.

Journalist’s Story Of Falling In Love With ‘Most Hated Man’ Goes Viral

Christie Smythev and Martin Shkreli

 

A ex-Bloomberg journalist has revealed how she fell for a jailed former pharmaceutical executive dubbed “the most hated man in America” after covering his arrest, in a love story that gripped social media Monday.

Journalist Christie Smythe told Elle magazine in an article published Sunday that she left her husband for Martin Shkreli, who is serving seven years in prison for defrauding investors.

Several US media commented on the tale Monday, with some accusing her of violating journalistic ethics, and others praising her for telling her story.

Shkreli, who once led Turing Pharmaceuticals, became infamous for suddenly raising the price of the drug Daraprim in 2015 by 5,000 percent — from $13.50 a pill to $750.

He also drew attention in 2015 when he purchased for $2 million the sole edition of an album by rappers Wu-Tang Clan titled “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”

He had smirked through a congressional hearing that scrutinized his actions, becoming known as “Pharma Bro.”

Smythe, 37, had helped break the news of Shkreli’s arrest on securities fraud in December 2015. The earlier drug controversy had nothing to do with the charges.

Smythe sat in the Brooklyn court throughout his trial and was there for his sentence in 2018.

She described to Elle how she gradually fell in love with him during visits to see him in prison.

 

Photo: Caroline Tompkins/ELLE

“I told Martin I loved him. And he told me he loved me, too,” Smythe said, recalling one particular visit.

“It’s hard to think of a time when I felt happier,” the magazine quoted her as saying.

Smythe, who left Bloomberg in 2018 and got divorced from her husband in 2019, said she would wait for Shkreli while he serves the remaining three years of his sentence.

She also mentions that they may try to have children.

“Going public is such a relief, no matter what people think,” Smythe tweeted late Sunday.

“You have no idea how hard it is to keep this kind of a story bottled up. So messy and complicated. I’m glad it was told well,” she added.

During Shkreli’s trial, his lawyer had described him as a mildly autistic, self-taught genius.

Shkreli had earlier had his bail revoked after he offered a reward for anyone who would grab a strand of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s hair. He insisted it was a joke.

Female Journalist Shot Dead In Afghanistan

Mourners carry the coffin of female news anchor Malalai Maiwand, who was shot dead by gunmen in Jalalabad on December 10, 2020. NOORULLAH SHIRZADA / AFP
Mourners carry the coffin of female news anchor Malalai Maiwand, who was shot dead by gunmen in Jalalabad on December 10, 2020. NOORULLAH SHIRZADA / AFP

 

A female Afghan news anchor and activist was shot dead by assailants Thursday, her employer said, the second journalist killed in a month in Afghanistan.

Malalai Maiwand, in her 20s, was killed along with her driver Mohammad Tahir in the eastern city of Jalalabad as they travelled to work, said Enekaas TV, the private television channel she worked for.

The journalist, whose activist mother was also killed by unknown gunmen five years ago, had previously spoken out about the difficulties of being a female reporter under Afghanistan’s ultra-conservative patriarchal system.

READ ALSO: Suicide Car Bomb Kills 26 Afghan Security Personnel

Maiwand’s death comes as targeted killings of prominent figures becomes increasingly common as violence surges, despite ongoing peace talks between the government and the Taliban.

The Islamic State jihadist group claimed the murder.

In a statement on their Telegram channel, the group said Maiwand had been targeted because she was “loyal to the apostate Afghan regime”.

Over the years, IS has claimed several deadly attacks in Nangarhar province, which has also seen regular clashes between government forces and the Taliban.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial governor, and the local hospital both confirmed the deaths.

“Who has problems with women working in the Afghan society?” deputy spokeswoman to the president Fatima Murchal tweeted.

She added: “These coward culprits will not be forgiven, not even after peace.”

Daily life for women has improved from a nadir under the Taliban, but the United Nations noted there were widespread levels of violence against women in the war-ravaged nation.

The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, a group that oversees journalists’ security in the country, warned the continued violence was threatening to undo years of progress.

“If the killing of journalists does not stop, Afghanistan will lose one of its greatest achievements which is press freedom,” the committee tweeted and called for an investigation.

Top US envoy in Kabul Ross Wilson condemned the “assassination” and called for the violence to stop.

President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Sediqqi also condemned Maiwand’s murder.

“The terrorist attack on Malalai Miwand is shocking and utterly despicable,” Sediqqi tweeted. “The current senseless violence against our people must end”.

The murder of Maiwand comes just weeks after Radio Liberty reporter Aliyas Dayee was killed in a car bomb attack in Lashkar Gah.

Human Rights Watch said Dayee had previously been threatened by the Taliban.

A former television presenter in Kabul, Yama Siawash, was killed in a similar car bomb attack near his home last month.

No group has so far claimed those murders.

Afghan forces are battling an increase in violence, much of it unleashed by the Taliban as they attempt to gain leverage in peace talks in Qatar, which opened in September.

 

AFP

Bullet Hits Journalist In Kogi As Looters Scamper For Safety

Gunmen Attack Kogi Communities, Kill Policeman And Three Others
A map of Kogi State in Nigeria’s north-central.

 

A journalist with the Sun newspaper, Emmanuel Adeyemi has been hit by a stray bullet in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

He was hit while on his way to the Nigerian Union of journalists, (NUJ) secretariat on Monday morning, as gunshots were fired to disperse a crowd of looters at the warehouse in the Zone 8 area.

A similar incident had occurred Sunday night with residents bombarding the ADP Warehouse, carting away several bags of fertilizer, water pumps, bags of rice seedlings.

According to the government, however, they had intended to distribute the items to the people on Monday, before the crowd overwhelmed them and broke into the warehouse.

Security agencies were seen at some strategic locations ensuring that the situation didn’t go out of hand.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer Mr. William Aya, said that the gunshots were from hoodlums who were scaring people away to enable them have free access to their looting activities themselves.

He said the shootings were not from the Police, adding that the perpetrators were being trailed and would be brought to book shortly.

Meanwhile, the victims have been taken to one of the private hospitals in Lokoja for treatment.

In a phone interview with Channels Television, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Kinsley Fanwo, described the situation as unfortunate saying that the mercenaries were sneaked into the town by hoodlums who are bent on causing mayhem.

He, however, promised that government is doing everything possible to track them down.

‘I Disappointed Myself’: Fani-Kayode Apologises For Harassing Journalist In Calabar

Femi Fani-Kayode held a press conference in Akwa Ibom on August 28, 2020.
Femi Fani-Kayode held a press conference in Akwa Ibom on August 28, 2020.

 

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has apologised for his outburst towards a journalist during a recent press conference in Calabar.

Fani Kayode also apologised to the Nigeria Union of Journalists, family members, friends, and colleagues of the Daily Trust reporter.

Speaking on Friday during a press conference at the Government House in Uyo, the ex-minister said he disappointed himself and everyone, noting that his reaction was undefendable.

READ ALSO: Court Reinstates Three Suspended Ondo Assembly Members

“I’m deeply sorry for the manner I reacted to the said reporter. I was too hard on him. The question was mischievous, but I fell for it,” he said.

“I should have been smarter than that. I am using this opportunity to reach out to him, and I hope he will be kind enough to forgive me.”

“I disappointed myself, my family and friends, my colleagues, and even my bosses, those who hold me in high esteem.

“I have regrets, it was not my finest day. No leader or public figure should ever react like that. I disappointed myself. I deeply regret it and I believe it will never happen again.”

This comes barely three days after Fani-Kayode branded the reporter ‘stupid’.

The reporter had asked Fani-Kayode who was “bankrolling” his recent tour of several southern states, a question that irked the ex-minister.

The NUJ and Daily Trust had condemned Fani-Kayode for his comments.

Journalist, Health Worker Among New COVID-19 Cases In Ondo

A government health worker shows a Covid-19 test. TARSO SARRAF / AFP

 

 

No fewer than 19 new confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were recorded in Ondo State in the last 12 days.

The state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, disclosed this on Monday while briefing reporters on the pandemic in Akure, the state capital.

He noted that his administration was expending more energy and resources in improving the capacity of the Infectious Disease Hospitals to cope with the challenges.

The new cases included a journalist, a healthcare worker, and an American citizen who was prevented from travelling back to the United States due to the lockdown.

“We now have 43 total confirmed cases,” said Akeredolu. “The local government areas with confirmed cases are Akure South (22), Odigbo (three), Owo (three), Ose (three), Akure North (two), Ondo West (five), Okitipupa (two), Akoko South East (one), Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo (one), Ifedore (one).”

Governor Akeredolu added that 14 patients were one admission, seven dead, and 22 others have recovered and been discharged.

He revealed that the cases were among the 568 total suspected cases reported, although 663 samples were collected and 655 laboratory results have been received.

According to the governor, the government is tracing 113 contacts of infected patients and the journalist is the 32nd confirmed case.

On the other hand, he explained that the American citizen who is of Akure origin came home to visit his family and was caught up in Nigeria by the lockdown.

“Having been home for not less than two months, he fell ill sometimes last week, showing symptoms of COVID-19. He was immediately taken to the hospital where he was referred to the UNIMEDTH Ondo for further examination.

“His sample was taken to confirm his COVID-19 status. He died before his result came,” Governor Akeredolu revealed.

He added, “The 34th case, 54, is a female healthcare worker who works in a private facility and presented with a runny nose.”

The governor, therefore, urged the residents to adhere to the precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19.

He listed them to include social and physical distancing, use of facemasks, washing of hands with water and soap, use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser, as well as travel restrictions.

Mozambique Reporter Still Missing As Authorities Offer No Help

 

Media rights groups have been pressuring the Maputo government to help locate a Mozambique journalist who went missing one month ago in jihadist-hit Cabo Delgado province, as friends and relatives begin to fear the worst.

Community radio journalist Ibraimo Abu Mbaruco disappeared on April 7, in the northern district of Palma — the epicentre of attacks by Islamist militants seeking to establish a caliphate.

Mbaruco went missing on his way home from the radio station in the evening, shortly after texting a colleague to say he was surrounded by military forces.

The journalist, who is in his thirties, reported on daily life in Palma, including the insurgency — which the government had denied until late last month.

“It has been a very long time since he has disappeared,” said one of Mbaruco’s colleagues, who did not want to be named.

“We are beginning to fear that something worse has happened to him.”

The government has not officially commented on the case.

Police in Cabo Delgado have repeatedly said they know nothing about Mbaruco’s whereabouts or the circumstances of his disappearance.

“We have no information about him yet,” police spokesman Augusto Guta told AFP on Friday. “As soon as we know something we’ll tell the press.”

One week after Mbaruco went missing, Guta told reporters “family sources” had suggested the journalist was dead, adding that police were unable to verify it.

– Letters to the President –

The Mozambique branch of the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) on Friday said it has been lobbying President Filipe Nyusi to ask for support in searching for Mbaruco.

The group, which advocates for press freedom in southern Africa, has also approached the national police chief without avail.

“MISA Mozambique triggered a series of processes to locate and release the journalist, including addressing a letter to President Nyusi,” the group said in a statement.

MISA met Nyusi on April 27, after which they were asked to “refer the case to the Attorney General”.

According to the statement, police sources told MISA that Mbaruco was “taken by military personnel” to “interrogation barracks” in the northern Mueda district.

Another group of journalists told AFP they were also referred to the public prosecutor after writing to Nyusi.

“We are sure that Ibraimo has been kidnapped by the military,” said Mbaruco’s colleague.

He compared the case to that of another community radio journalist, Amade Abubacar, who was kidnapped by soldiers last year and kept in barracks for over two weeks.

Abubacar was eventually taken to a civil prison and detained for more than three months.

He was accused of publishing classified information regarding the insurgency and charged with crimes against state security.

“That’s how they did it last year with Amade,” said Mbaruco’s colleague, drawing parallels with Abubacar’s ordeal.

‘Taking too long’

“What is strange this time is that it is taking too long to release him to freedom or transfer him to a civilian prison,” he added.

An unnamed police source told AFP Mbaruco was suspected of “collaborating with insurgents”.

“We continue to think that there is a strong probability that he (Mbaruco) is being held by the military,” Reporters Without Borders (RSF)’s Arnaud Froger said via email on Friday.

Froger, who also drew parallels between Mbaruco and Abubacar, added that all possibilities were still being considered.

Since the beginning of military attacks in the gas-rich Cabo Delgado province in 2017, at least five journalists including Mbaruco and activists working for Amnesty International have been arrested by government troops.

Islamist fighters have terrorised remote communities in the Muslim-majority northern region.

Locally, members are known as Al-Shabaab, although they have no known links to the group of that name operating in Somalia.

More than 1,100 people have been killed since the start of Cabo Delgado insurgency, including at least 700 civilians, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).

The unrest has forced more than 200,000 people to flee and raised concern among energy giants operating in the gas-rich region.

The Mozambican government admitted the presence of Islamic State militants in the country for the first time after police reported a “massacre” of 52 villagers who had refused to be recruited into the ranks of the shadowy group.

“The silence coming from the highest authorities is extremely worrying,” said Froger.

“In this province, the situation is such that journalists have as many reasons to fear violence linked to the Islamic insurgency as the threat of being kidnapped by soldiers in their own country.”

Journalist Arrested By Army In Maiduguri Regains Freedom

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ
A file photo of troops.

 

 

A journalist reporting for Daily Trust Newspaper, Omirin Olatunji, has regained his freedom hours after he was whisked away by personnel of the Nigerian Army in Borno State.

Olatunji was picked up at about 4:40pm on Thursday while hanging out with colleagues at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) along Lagos Street in Maiduguri, the state capital.

Channels Television gathered that the arrest was carried out by two plain cloth army personnel and a soldier in camouflage carrying an assault rifle – AK 47.

The reporter was handcuffed in the presence of other journalists and dragged into a waiting car without offering explanations after which the vehicle zoomed off.

Confirming the arrest, Borno NUJ said the military authorities in the state contacted them that Olatunji had been arrested and was on his way to the barracks.

The spokesperson for the 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Colonel Ado Isa, also told Channels Television that the Theatre Commander was having talks with the leadership of the NUJ with a view to resolving the impasse.

 

A Trample On Dignity

Following the reporter’s release, the NUJ condemned Olatunji’s arrest in a statement, saying the military’s action was detrimental to the operation of free democracy.

It also described it as a trample on the dignity of professional journalists, saying the arrest was a repeat of a similar incident about the same time in 2019.

The statement was jointly signed by the NUJ chairman and secretary in the state, Bulama Talba and Mohammed Ibrahim, respectively.

It read, “We the members of the Pen profession in Borno State have been and will continue to live up to our responsibilities of informing the government and citizens on happenings as a way of promoting the safety of all and improve living conditions at all times.

“The union members from various media have been, with all sense of responsibility, carrying out duties to put issues in the right perspectives for proper agenda-setting by government and the military and mobilising the citizenry to support programmes and operations that follow,  which Olatunji Omirin has been doing remarkably well.

“NUJ feels it is quite unfortunate that this is happening now when we all need to be on the same page to move our country from armed conflict to peaceful resolutions of disputes for development to thrive instead of playing into the wishes of elements that promote discord in the nation.

“We can do better by calling concerned media organisations, NUJ, as well as other stakeholders for regular interactions on finding common ground on the way forward beyond this modus operandi.”