The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has described the recent attack on some journalists and media houses as unwarranted and condemnable.In a statement on Friday in Lagos, the NGE noted that the Nigerian media contributed immensely to the current democracy being enjoyed in Nigeria and should therefore operate in an atmosphere of unfettered access to information and peace.
The Guild recalls that journalists had engaged in reporting all sides since the #EndSARS protests erupted. “This is against the background of their Constitutional duty of informing the public of developments in the country, and they discharged such responsibilities even at the risk of their lives.
“Therefore, the call for adequate security for media houses has become imperative because of Tuesday’s attacks on Television Continental, TVC, The Nation Newspapers, Lagos Television and Traffic Radio. Other media houses such as Channels TV and Galaxy TV had to go off air temporarily as a precautionary measure,” the statement said.
According to the statement, the media shouldn’t be made to operate in an insecure atmosphere.
“It is for this reason the Guild is calling on the government to provide adequate security for media houses to enable them perform their Constitutional role of informing the public and holding leaders accountable to the people.
“The government should also consider providing compensation to the affected media houses to enable them bounce back and keep their employees at work,” the statement added.
In addition, the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has condemned the recent attacks against journalists and media houses in some parts of the country, particularly in Lagos, by State and non-State actors in the wake of the #EndSARS protests, describing the actions as reprehensible acts of intimidation and reprisals against media workers and organizations engaged in the lawful pursuit of their professional functions.
A statement issued by its Programme Director, Mr. Ayode Longe, on Friday said: “The failure of the Government and its law enforcement agencies to protect media houses, journalists and other media workers in the face of these threats, wanton acts of harassment and intimidation, arson, physical violence and other violation of media rights is a shameful abdication by the Government of its legal and constitutional responsibility to protect them as well as a breach of its obligations under international human rights Law.
“The media serve a critically important function in society, particularly in times of crisis and emergencies, as it is imperative that citizens, other members of the public and communities are adequately informed about the prevailing situation, including any threat to their lives or wellbeing. Such acts of intimidation and violence against the media and journalists, as we have witnessed in recent days, undermine their ability to perform their functions and violate the public’s right of access to information,” Mr. Longe said.