Alleged harassment: Journalists boycott Yobe government’s activities

The Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Yobe State Chapter said it has boycotted all state government activities due to intimidation and harassment of its members by security operatives.

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The chairman and secretary of the chapel Ahmed Abba and Michael Oshomah in a statement on Friday said security men attached to Yobe State Government House are harassing and intimidating its members while on their legitimate engagements.

The statement reads as follows:

The Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Yobe State Chapter, at its emergency meeting held on Friday, 28th October 2022 resolved to boycott all the state government’s activities due to the following reasons:

  1. Intimidation and harassment of its members by security operatives attached to the government house.
  2. Lack of formal invitation to government activities. As members of the fourth estate of realm, part of our responsibilities is to inform the public on happenings in the state including the government house.

Regrettably, however, for over one year of the administration of Governor Mai Mala Buni, the governor’s spokesman, Alhaji Mamman Mohammed, had never sent formal invitation for coverage of the governor’s activities to the chapel, contrary to the practice in the past.

This has negatively affected the operations of representatives of national dailies operating in the State.

  1. Lack of accessibility to Governor Mai Mala Buni by working journalists in the state.

The chapel finds it disturbing, that despite the governor’s historic reign as APC Extraordinary Caretaker National Chairman, and being a Governor for over 3 years where he had been addressing the press in Abuja and other parts of the country, but never addressed national dailies in his own state to speak on his administration’s policies and programmes, which confirms his inaccessibility to resident journalists.

  1. The chapel also resolves that its members are to desist from using press releases issued from Yobe State government without prior contact with our members.

The chapel calls on heads of security agencies in the state to sensitise their personnel on media security relation.

The chapel finds it necessary to take this critical decision in other to alert relevant stakeholders and appropriate authorities to take decisive action towards addressing the above issues amicably.

Finally, the working journalists in Yobe state wish to inform the public and the government of Yobe State that our action should not be judged by sentiment, but on the basis of our position as one of the major stakeholders of our democracy.

It is also important to note that the coming election is very critical in our Nation’s democracy and therefore it is a fatal mistake to refuse to carry resident journalists along. Premium Times

 

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