The Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN) has called on the leadership of the police and armed forces to investigate attacks on ARISE NEWS crew and ensure errant security operatives are sanctioned.
The body has also asked the country’s police and military to curb the propensity of their rank and file to violate the rights of citizens to protest and freely express themselves.
IBAN stated this in a statement signed by its chairman, Guy Murray-Bruce and titled, The Brutalization Of Reporters Covering The Anti SARS Protests.
Murray-Bruce in the statement said: “It has come to our attention that security operatives have made a habit of visiting violence upon news crews covering the #EndSars protests taking place in many cities nationwide. We would expect that by now, Nigerian security operatives would be aware of the rules of engagement as it pertains to media coverage of such events.
“The media has a constitutional responsibility of reporting these events just as the security operatives also have a responsibility to maintain law and order at such events. On the 11th of October, in Abuja, Police personnel manhandled messers Francis Ogbonna and Ferdinand Duroha staff of Arise TV covering the protests in Abuja. Information at our disposal is that both gentlemen were badly beaten and their camera extensively damaged.
“Again, on the 13th of October in Abuja another Arise TV reporter was assaulted and his camera confiscated by soldiers and only returned at the persistent insistence of the young protesters.
Incidents like this rightly belong to the ignoble past when millitary dictatorships ruled the land. One would have expected that 21 years into a democratic dispensation, our security agencies would have imbibed a culture of civility.
“We hereby call on the leadership of the police and armed forces to curb the propensity of their rank and file to violate the rights of citizens to protest and freely express themselves. Indeed, we insist that both incidents be investigated and the errant security operatives sanctioned.
“IBAN wishes to assure Nigerians that our members will not be intimidated by jack boot tactics and will continue to perform our constitutional responsibility of informing the public and being the watch dogs of our democracy.”
By Abel Ejikeme