• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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League of Nigerian columnists condemn arrest of journalists, calls for press freedom

Press Freedom

The League of Nigerian Columnists (LNC) has condemned the arrest of journalists in the country.

The association expressed this in a statement made available to this paper by Anthony Kila, Secretary General of the LNC, on Tuesday, while calling for press freedom.

It described the arrests, detention, and even abduction of journalists in the country as  “not worthy of a democratic country and should be condemned in unequivocal terms by all.”

Several arrests and detention of journalists have been recorded in the country lately including the abduction of Segun Olatunji, a former Editor of FirstNews by armed men in his home in Iyana Odo, Abule Egba area of Lagos, on March 15, 2024; Daniel Ojukwu, a journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism; Nurudeen Akewushola, a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

The LNC further noted that the country, with 25 years of interrupted democracy, is old enough to be free of infantile ailing typical of a growing child.

“At 25 years of democracy, the LNC expect journalists to be free to report without fear or favour, and where they err, we expect those who feel wronged should follow civil and legal processes.
“It is important to remind all that a country or government that cannot guarantee the safety and freedom of the press cannot be defined as democratic, and the onus of ensuring the safety and freedom of the media is entirely on the government of the country that wants to described as democratic,” it added.

The LNC is a conglomeration of op-ed writers in Nigeria, led by Tola Adeniyi and Yakubu Mohamed.

It comprises columnists whose columns are published in newspapers and magazines with a full-time editor. Some of its members include Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Dare Babarinsa, Martins Oloja, Sam Omatseye, Ikechukwu Amaechi, and Ruben Abati.