By Joseph Kingston,
The Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Cross River State Council, Mr. Victor Dan Udu, has described the growing spate of killing of practicing journalists in Nigeria as unacceptable. According to him, one journalist is killed every four days and in nine out of 10 cases and the killers go free, and over 1,010 journalists have been killed in the last 12 years worldwide.
He said: “We call on governments all over the world to promote a safe, conducive and an enabling environment for journalists to perform their duties independently and without undue interference.
“We’re reminding government of their responsibility to ensure that crimes against Journalists do not go unpunished and we urge them to ensure that Journalists work in safe conditions which allows for free press to flourish.
“We join the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, to call on journalists to continue to do their work in spite of intimidation, threats, attacks, detention, political pressure, censorship, persecution, harassment and even the unwarranted killing of our members.
“There is nothing wrong with reporting or in doing the job of serving the masses because we are their voices, but there is everything wrong when we fail to do the job. When a journalist is attacked, the whole society is under fire. Free Journalism is the backbone of free society, undermining it means undermining our own freedom.”
“We have people like Samuel Ogundegbe of Premium Times, Samuel Nweke and the late Dele Giwa and many more. We don’t know who will be a victim tomorrow, but we are citizens and we have the right, just like everyone else. Government should do everything, I mean everything, to protect us,” he said.