Press Freedom and Safety of Journalists Field Monitors have condemned the harassment of the Executive Director of the International Press Centre (IPC), Mr. Lanre Arogundade, and other journalists by the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies and demanded an end to such violence against journalists.
In the press statement signed by the leadership from the six geopolitical zones: Rosemary Nwaebuni, South-south; Moses Ojo, South-west; Naomi Okoh, North-central; Elizabeth Achuagu, South-east; Bello Mujtaba Ramalan, North-west and Abdulkareem Haruna, North-west, the group lamented that media professionals have become endangered species in the course of carrying out their constitutional responsibilities.
They frowned at the consistent attacks, intimidation, violence and sometimes killing of journalists by those whose responsibility it is to protect lives and property.
A senior official of the DSS had confirmed to the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors that it was a case of mistaken identity, when he called to know why Arogundade was being detained.
However, Comrade Arogundade confirmed that it has become a reoccurring decimal as similar scenario happened when he was leaving for Gambia January 30, 2022, adding that he had to ask the DSS officers the reason why he was always subjected to such unnecessary harassment that almost made him miss his flights sometimes.
The group therefore demanded a stop to the harassment on Arogundade and other journalists in the country, even as they called on the Director-General of DSS to carry out adequate training for his officers and provide adequate information management mechanism to avoid undue embarrassment of media practitioners and other.
They also demanded unreserved apology from the DSS to Arogundade for confiscating his cellphone and other harassments meted to him while he was detained on February 10, 2022.