The governor of Kaduna State, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai; the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and other well-meaning Nigerians have condemned the attack on the Kaduna Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) by a mob suspected to be political thugs during which some journalists were assaulted.
On July 30, 2017, while Senators Shehu Sani and Suleiman Hunkuyi were holding a press conference at the NUJ secretariat to protest the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) delegates election. While the press conference was in progress, political thugs armed with dangerous weapons stormed the venue destroying property including doors, windows, chairs and tables. They also attacked journalists: Mr. Lawal Muhammed, a cameraman with Liberty Television was matcheted and several cameras cell phones and recorders were damaged.
Expressing his displeasure, Governor Nasir El-Rufai condemned the mob action by hoodlums. He sympathised with the NUJ and the persons who were harassed by the hoodlums, stating that “nobody will be allowed to stifle freedom of expression”. He also ordered security agencies to look into the case and make sure the hoodlums are brought to book.
He further directed security agencies to beef up security at the NUJ secretariat to protect journalists doing their duty.
The NIPR condemned the attack when its Vice Chairman, Mukhtar Sirajo, paid a solidarity visit to the union. Sirajo said that NIPR and NUJ were partners in progress.
Also reacting to the incident in a statement, spokesman to the Kaduna State Governor, Samuel Aruwan said “the media must not be hindered from carrying out their constitutional and professional obligations”.
He pointed out that Kaduna State Government upholds the principles of free speech and respects the freedom of expression.
He warned that the government of Kaduna State will not tolerate any attempt to muzzle the press and innocent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.