The Abuja Chapter of the Fourth Estate Professional Society (FPS) Friday condemned the illegal arrest and detention of two Kwara-based Journalists, Dare Akogun of Sobi FM and Abdulrasheed Akogun, Publisher of Fresh Insight, an Online Newspaper.
Consequently, the body has called for their immediate release, saying the act was a gross violation of their rights.
The duo were allegedly arrested and detained by men of the Kwara State Command of the Nigeria Police Force over a report that the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, purportedly facilitated over N15 million in public funds to prosecute the last chairmanship election of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
But while denouncing the act, in a statement signed by the Abuja Chapter Chairman of the body, Comrade Kehinde Osasona and Secretary, Barr. Emmanuel Ekwe, FPS described the continued attack on Journalists in Nigeria and globally as shameful, saying the everyday act is usually borne out of crass ignorance of what Journalism practice is all about.
The body insisted that Journalists in the line of duty as enshrined by Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution as amended must be shielded from crackdown in whatever guise by the States and its overzealous agents.
Osasona who decried the increase attack of journalists in Nigeria and the globe said, “It has now reached an alarming rate.”
He said, “For God sake, will these cultures of gagging the Media even in this era of Freedom of Information Act (FoI) ever stop?”
“It is surprising that in a modern democracy and when our European and American counterparts are already using the media space to not only set an agenda for their countries but also informed accurately, Nigeria choose to join the likes of Yemen, Afghanistan, Iran, Ethiopia, Haiti, Cuba, West Bank and Gaza, Zimbabwe, Russia, Bangladesh, China, Sudan, Ghana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eriteria to mention but a few which has been adjudged worst places to be a Journalist.
“Therefore, the authorities and their overzealous security agencies should know that the case of Agba Jalingo of Cross River Watch, Oloye Samuel of Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper and Tordue Salem, a Vanguard reporter who was mysteriously killed by unknown men and others who have paid the supreme price is still fresh in our minds.”
The body nevertheless hailed the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for considering practicing Journalists and veterans alongside other Nigerians for national honours.