VOA Reporter Assaulted by Commissioner of Homeland Security in Niger State

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Chris Isiguzo, NUJ President

Mr. Mustapha Batsari, a reporter for Voice of America (VOA), based in Nigeria, was on November 24, 2023, assaulted by Major General Bello Mohammed Abdullahi (rtd), the Niger State Commissioner of Homeland Security, when the reporter approached him at the Government House in Minna for details regarding the crisis at Beji in Bosso Local Government Area.

Narrating his ordeal, the reporter disclosed that after making several calls without success, he went to the commissioner’s office but did not meet him. He then decided to search for him in the government house to get the side of the government on the report he was working on. Mustapha said rather than respond to his question, the commissioner reportedly threatened him, rained abuses on him and attempted to seize his midget.

Mustapha said: “The commissioner who is in charge of the security of lives, threatened my life and tried to confiscate my recording gadget despite the fact that I was not recording the interaction.”

He added that it took the intervention of people around to save him from the wrath of the commissioner.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Niger State Council condemned the assault on the reporter by the commissioner and called on the state governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, to intervene in the matter.