Soldiers Bar Journalists from Covering Elections, Confiscate Media Vehicles 

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NUJ-620x350On March 9, 2019, Soldiers at ORO3 Union Bank formation in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, detained journalists covering the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections for hours and confiscated the vehicles they were using to move around polling stations.

The journalists, Musa Mingye of Blueprint and Hamisu Kabir Matazu of Daily Trust used their personal vehicles that had INEC approved sticker and INEC’s reflective jackets while they also had on them INEC-issued Identification their mediums’ identity cards.

The armed soldiers refused to listen to their pleas to be allowed to go about their duty and threatened to be brutal if the journalists proved recalcitrant. An army lieutenant who claimed he was acting on the instructions of the GOC vowed he will not listen to the journalist’s appeal. At a point, he asked the journalists rhetorically, “Do you think you have any right? Go there and stay until I decided what to do with you.”