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Journalists shot at APC rally, IPC condemns action

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The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria has condemned the gun-attacks on journalists who were covering the Lagos State rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

Pandemonium broke out at the APC rally held at the SkyPower Ground, Ikeja GRA, following indiscriminate shootings and stabbings of some persons including journalists covering the event, forcing party members to flee the venue.

Among the journalists affected by the unpleasant activities of gun wielding elements at the rally which held at the rally were the group political editor of The Nation Newspaper, Emmanuel Oladesu, New Telegraph correspondent, Temitope Ogunbanke and Ibile Television cameraman, Abiodun Yusuf.

IPC in a statement signed by Lanre Arogundade, said that the Nation Newspaper confirmed that Oladesu was hit by a stray bullet and was receiving treatment in a hospital although in stable condition.

“IPC hereby reminds all political parties that the Nigerian media code of election coverage obligates them to ensure the safety of journalists covering their activities including campaigns.

The IPC called on the Lagos APC to urgently take appropriate steps to apprehend the alleged perpetrators of the bizarre attack with a view to handing them over to the law enforcement agencies for immediate prosecution, also as provided by the Code of Election Coverage.

“IPC calls on all journalists covering the ongoing campaigns to keep themselves abreast of all safety measure. They should learn to stay away from political activities where rival gangs engage in show of force especially through display of weapons.”

Journalists covering the elections should also bear in mind that they constitute dangerous assignments requiring them to take insurance cover especially from their employees.”

The IPC appealed to the security agents on electoral duty, especially the police, to consider the protection of journalists as part of their responsibility as envisaged by and indeed provided for by the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage.

 

JOSHUA BASSEY

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