The Ogun State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has asked the Osun State governor, Ademola Adeleke, to as a matter of urgency, fish out and reprimand the ‘power drunk’ police officers who attacked the secretary of the Union, Bunmi Adigun, on Friday.
Adigun was said to have been attacked by an overzealous policeman attached to the governor of Osun State during an event where Mr Adeleke was to be conferred with a chieftaincy title in the Joga Orile Area of Ogun state.
It was gathered that caution was thrown to the wind when Mr Adeleke arrived at the venue of the event where his counterpart in Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, was already seated, his security guards who were mainly police officers were aggressively clearing the foot part when they pushed both journalists and non-journalists regardless.
Angered by their action, the secretary of the Ogun State Council of NUJ who was also a victim of the pushing, approached the officers but was further assaulted and manhandled.
According to Adigun, the mask-wearing officers behaved untamed and in a manner that will make one think they were sent after journalists.
In a swift reaction, the state Chairman of the Union, Wale Olanrewaju, rebuked the officers for their actions.
In his strongly worded statement made available to journalists in the state, Olanrewaju called on the governor to wade into the matter and bring the concerned officers to justice.
The statement reads, “The Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ogun State Council strongly condemn the deplorable, unjustifiable and inhumane attack on our esteemed colleague and Secretary of the Council, Comrade Bunmi Adigun and his cameraman from the Ogun State Television (OGTV) by the overzealous and uncivilized security agents attached to the Governor of Osun State, Governor Ademola Adeleke, at Joga-Orile in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
“This reckless and reprehensible behaviour towards a member of the press, who was simply carrying out his professional duties, is utterly unacceptable and cannot be tolerated in a democratic society, granted that any form of assault on a journalist is an affront to the fundamental principles of press freedom and the right of citizens to access accurate and unbiased information. The press must remain free, unshackled, and empowered to fulfil its vital role in societ
It is deeply concerning that individuals entrusted with the responsibility of upholding law and order would resort to using excessive force and intimidation against journalists. Such actions not only undermine the integrity of the media but also erode the trust between the government and the people it serves.
“We urge Governor Adeleke to take swift and decisive action to hold the perpetrators of this attack accountable and to ensure that measures are put in place to safeguard the rights and safety of journalists as attacks on the press will not be tolerated in any form and that those responsible shall be made to face the full force of the law.
“As a unified body, we stand in solidarity with our colleague and strongly demand an immediate public apology to our colleague and a commitment from the Governor of Osun State to uphold the rights and safety of journalists. Any failure to address this matter with the urgency and seriousness it warrants will be viewed as a disregard for the rule of law and an assault on press freedom.”