As the world marks the International Day to End Impunity Against Journalists on November 2, the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), has called on the Federal Government to do more on the safety of journalists in the country to enable them discharge their duties of holding government and its officials accountable to the Nigerian people.
“As the World observes this day, we call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to be conscious of the fact that as professionals whose responsibility is to monitor governance and hold Government accountable to the masses, and to educate and enlighten society, journalists should as a group be given adequate protection in the discharge of their duties,” the NUJ said in a statement by its National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman.
The statement is in commemoration of the International Day to End Impunity against Journalists.
Leman stressed that “in observing this day, it is pertinent to note that acts of violence against journalists and media equipment are not only a crime, but also serious threats to press freedom and by implication to democracy.
“The NUJ like other sister Unions and Associations within the International Federation of Journalists is committed to paying particular attention to the safety of all Journalists in the country, and respect for freedom of expression and press freedom which are of paramount importance to assuring freedom of the press, freedom of expression and democratic governance.”
According to him, the NUJ affirms the fact that this freedom includes the right to seek and receive information from all available sources to enable formulation of proper opinions to whomsoever one desires and to do so through whichever means it is feasible to communicate without any let or hindrance.
“The NUJ believes that protecting journalists is very important because of the risks they face daily in the course of their duties. Many are targeted for doing what is legitimate and protecting them is a humanitarian concern as well as a professional concern.”
The United Nations General Assembly designated November 2 of each year as the International Day to End Impunity Against Journalists following the death of two French journalists in Mali in the hands of Islamists.