In view of the Coronavirus pandemic, the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), has urged the federal government and state governors to provide safety kits and palliatives to journalists.
NUJ’s National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman issued a statement in this regard on Saturday.
According to the statement, the role of journalists in keeping the world informed cannot be overemphasized, adding that “this should be accomplished in complete safety.”
“Regrettably, while the Covid-19 crisis confines the nation with unprecedented health, social and economic consequences, journalists are more than ever essential in publishing quality information.”
NUJ also stressed that the current Coronavirus pandemic poses a great threat to journalists because “they are at the forefront of daily reportage of developments from this pandemic.”
“Various states of the country are already on lockdown and the citizens confined to their homes but one thing remains constant; journalists are out there ensuring that the people are well informed of developments surrounding the rampaging Coronavirus,” the statement added.
NUJ also maintained that covid-19 has become a topical issue across the globe thereby placing a great demand on journalism and journalists.
Hence, the union urged governments to make practical commitment towards the protection and progress of ‘the fourth estate of the realm’.
The statement read in part:
“It has therefore become imperative that we urgently call on the Federal and State Governments to provide safety kits and palliative to Journalists to enable them do their work in safety and relative comfort.
“It’s also of great importance that government must come up with ways of cushioning the effect of this pandemic on Media houses in order to ensure they sustain the tempo of their coverage of this pandemic.”
“Most importantly, we must ensure that we stay safe bearing in mind that the pandemic is already taking its toll on all of us.”