The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos has lamented reported incidents of attacks on journalists and other media professionals covering the governorship and House of Assembly elections in some parts of the country including Lagos, Ogun and Rivers States.
A statement on Saturday by Melody Lawal, Press Freedom Officer, said IPC’s JOURNALISTS’ -ELECTION-DAY-SAFETY-ALERT-DESK has confirmed that AIT Reporters and cameramen including Henrietta Oke, Amarachi Amushie and Nkiru Nwokedi were molested and prevented from covering the elections at some polling units in Eti-Osa, Ifako-Ijaiye and Amuwo Odofin local government areas by political thugs and hoodlums.
“Journalist Nwokedi temporarily lost her phone before it was recovered with the help of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) men while Journalist Amushie was rough handled, her camera damaged and the cameraman beaten in the presence of a political chieftain” IPC said.
The Alert Desk also established that Arise TV News crew comprising Reporter Oba Adeoye, Cameraman Opeyemi Adenihun and driver Yusuf Hassan was attacked while covering voting in Elegushi area of Lagos.
“The cameraman, Opeyemi Adenihun suffered facial injuries while drones and equipment were seized” according to the news medium.
Continuing, in Ogun State, News Agency of Nigeria’s reporter, Adejoke Adeleye, was among journalists molested in Itori Odo Area of Abeokuta South Local government where they faced mob attack by political thugs who equally reportedly assaulted INEC officials with axes and allegedly destroyed ballot boxes.
The details also include the denial of access to journalists who tried to capture voting in the polling unit of PDP Governorship candidate in Rivers State by some “overzealous police officers”.
“The policemen refused passage despite the proof of identity provided by the journalists” the report from Rivers stated.
“IPC strongly condemns these unacceptable attacks which constitute both the violation of the fundamental rights of the affected journalists and media workers and major assault on press freedom.
“Following the attacks on journalists during the presidential and national Assembly elections on February 25, we had called on the Police, the Political Parties and all concerned to take measures to protect them today. It is therefore worrisome that such attacks have been repeated”, the Press Freedom and Safety Alert Desk Officer of IPC, Melody Lawal said in a statement.
Mrs. Lawal charged the security agencies to thoroughly investigate the various attacks and ensure that the perpetrators face the consequences of their illegal and actions.