Amnesty International Calls for End to Attack On Nigerian Media, Journalists

Amnesty International has called for an end to the incessant attack on the media and journalists in Nigeria.

The human rights organisation made the call while condemning the verbal attack on a Daily Trust reporter, Eyo Charles, in Calabar by a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how Mr Charles had a sour encounter at a press briefing with Mr Fani-Kayode.

A video circulating on WhatsApp shows Mr Fani-Kayode abruptly leaving the briefing after pouring invective on Mr Charles who he said asked him an “insulting” question.

The incident happened on Thursday at a private hotel where the former minister was briefing reporters on his tour of projects in the South-South state.

The briefing was moderated by Governor Ben Ayade’s spokesperson, Christian Ita, and attended by reporters from Vanguard, Punch, NAN, AIT, and other media houses.

A statement released on Amnesty International Twitter page on Tuesday says: “Journalists seek accountability on behalf of the people and should not be threatened or abused for asking questions. These patterns of attacks on media and journalists must end.

Journalists play a key role in promoting the right to information by documenting and disseminating information. Journalists have been contending with challenges that make their job difficult. They should be able to do their job free from violence, abuse and threats,” it added.

Since the circulation of the video on Twitter on Tuesday, several Nigerians and organisations have condemned Mr Fani-Kayode’s action.

Daily Trust newspaper, in a statement on the incident, said its reporter did nothing wrong and condemned Mr Fani-Kayode pouring invective on him for asking a question at the press briefing.

Also, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) condemned the verbal attack on the journalist by Mr Fani-Kayode.

The NUJ, through its President, Chris Isiguzo, described Mr Fani-Kayode’s attack on Mr Charles as “gangster-like.