The Lagos Journalists League LJL, an influential group of vibrant pen professionals based in Lagos has condemned in strongest term the unwarranted attacks by suspected hoodlums on journalists covering the official flag off of the governorship campaign of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Lagos on Tuesday.
The organisation, in a release signed by its secretary general, Enitan Olukotun, said that the unfortunate incidence is yet a sad reminder of how journalists have become endangered species in the course of duty.
LJL said further that “We are deeply worried that whilst media contributes immensely in deepening the nation’s fragile democracy through election coverage and reportage, the political class who are the biggest beneficiaries of the process could not provide adequate security for our members on such dangerous assignments.
“Perhaps, if Lagos APC had provided tight security measures accorded its VIPs for Journalists at Sky Power Ground, the Group Political Editor of The Nation Newspaper, Emmanuel Oladesu, Temitope Ogunbanke of New Telegraph and Ibile Television cameraman, Abiodun Yusuf would not have been victims of the deadly gang clash at the rally.”
It however demanded treatment and security measures accorded VIPs and top chieftains of the political parties at rallies to be extended to men and women of the fourth Estate of the realm.
“We will not hesitate to advise our esteemed colleagues to shun rallies of any political parties who could not provide the barest minimum security for journalists who are reporting their activities.
“Lagos APC should with immediate effect provide worldclass, adequate treatment for Oladesu, Ogunbanke and Yusuf who were attacked by daredevil hoodlums during the melee.
“After all, the affected journalists are not lesser beings to Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, an APC chieftain who was involved in a similar tragic incidence in Ekiti State”, olukotun added.