The safety and protection of journalists top the agenda at the International day to end impunity for crime against journalists.
The event held in Lagos, had in attendance media managers, police and journalists where the need for adequate protection of the journalists was emphasised.
The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Ibrahim Idris said that the law enforcement agencies had a role to play in ensuring that the fourth estate of the realm was secured while discharging its civic duties.
Police and Journalist
According to him “the Nigerian Police will continue to partner with the Journalists, protect their rights and ensure their safety at all time.”
Mr Idris stated that the symbiotic relationship between the police and the journalists must be acknowledged, stressing the need for the journalists to always involve the security arm whenever they are covering any sensitive beat.
“Journalism and policing have a convergence especially on the field because whenever there is danger everybody runs away from the danger while the law enforcement agencies and journalists run towards it,” the IGP explained
On the level of impunity against journalists, the Director of the International Press Centre, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said that adequate protection must be assured for investigative reporters.
“Over the last decade, journalists appear to have been increasingly targeted around the world and there is disquieting evidence of the scale of it.
“Between May and September 2016, about 37 journalists have been documented to been assaulted in Nigeria,’’ Arogundade explained.
Poor remuneration of the journalists
A representative of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr. Ken Ugbechie lamented the poor remuneration of journalists and urged media owners to ensure prompt payment of outstanding salaries.
The Lagos State Chairman of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Mr. Deji Elumoye promised that the Union would clamp down on the media houses which failed to provide adequate protections for their staff.
Stakeholders at the event agreed that punishment must be meted on any erring persons who inflict pain on Journalists while reporting.
The challenge to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently without fear of being molested was also emphasised, as this would according to the participants give more freedom to the press.