By Evelyn Okakwu
The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has stated that journalist covering the forth coming elections across the country must be adequately insured and protected against any harm.
Speaking at a press briefing yesterday to mark the inauguration of the; “Monitoring Network on safety of Journalists”, in Abuja the NUJ president Comrade Mohammed Garba said; “We have had a meeting at the level of stake holders and the NUJ insisted that any journalist that will take part in the coverage of this elections must be properly insured. This is part of the resolution that was adopted at the National Executive Council of the NUJ meeting. And we will monitor it to ensure that its provisions are followed”.
The NUJ president added that similar measures are already in progress at the continental level; “At the continental level, we have been able to adopt a resolution on safety of journalist at the West African Journalists Association (WAJA) which we presented to the African Union (AU). We hope that the AU would do the needful to adopt the resolution for the safety of journalists in Africa”.
He said the network which is set by the collaborative effort of the United Nation’s Education Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as well as other security agents in the country was committed to ensuring a free and fair election.
Also at the event, the chairman of the committee, Bayo Atoyobi, a veteran Journalist with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) there is another caveat; the journalists themselves, must comport themselves and operate within the rule of law. The journalists’ job is the most difficult we have to work in the context of the constitution; no story is worth dying for”
Superintendent of Police, Thank God Nkwocha; Editor of The Dawn, a publication of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) said; “journalists should be careful and where they think they need the support of the security agencies, they should inform first so that they advise them.”