Abia NUJ protests harassment, oppression of journalists
By Steve Oko
Members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abia State Council, Thursday, joined their counterparts nationwide to protest the incessant harassment, intimidation and oppression of journalists by security operatives and other anti -democratic elements in the country.
Journalists in the state thronged out in their large number at the NUJ Press Centre Aba Road before marching round the Round About in front of their secretariat.
They carried placards and chanted solidarity songs.
There was traffic snarl for about five minutes as the protesters marched through the Round About.
Some inscriptions on the placards read ” Enough of the attacks against journalists”, ” Victimisation of journalists is unacceptable “, ” Police, Army, DSS, others stop harassing journalists “, among others.
Speaking during the protest, Abia NUJ Chairman, Comrade John Emejor said the demonstration was to protest inhuman treatments and oppression against journalists in Nigeria.
He strongly condemned incessant attacks by agents of state and other anti democratic elements against individual journalists and some media outfits in the country.
Emejor also said the demonstration was to protest poor remuneration of journalists and non payment of salaries by most media organisations.
He called on Government at all levels to ensure the protection of journalists in the discharge of their duties considering their pivotal roles as watch dog of society.
In his remarks, the pioneer Chairman of Abia NUJ , Comrade Ogbonnaya Iheaka, noted that journalists sacrifice so much to the sustenance of democracy and deserve honour instead of humiliation.
He regretted that unlike in advanced societies where journalists are being celebrated for their innumerable contributions towards the good of the people, media practitioners in Nigeria have rather been made targets of harassments by security operatives.
Iheaka, however, encouraged journalists not to be deterred by the way they are being treated in Nigeria but be spured by such ill treatments to live up to their responsibilies.
Speaking also, a veteran broadcast journalists and the General Manager Modern Communications Limited, MCL, Mr. Chimdi Oluoha, said journalists are the pillars that sustain democracy, hence they deserve commendation and not intimidation.
He said that any leader who fails to protect and safeguard Jounarlists in the course of their duty “is anti democratic leader “.
The Radio Nigeria ex-Correspondent, called on Nigerians to rise up in defense of journalists saying that “as the fourth estate of the ream journalists hold government accountable for the people “.
“Our lives cannot be endangered because we are working for the good of society “, he said.