66 Nigerian journalists, 3 media houses attacked in 2022 – IPC 

The International Press Centre (IPC) Programme Officer, Mrs Melody Akinjiyan, has disclosed that no fewer than 66 Nigerian journalists suffered various forms of attack in 2022.

Mrs Akinjiyan stated this on Friday while presenting report of attacks on journalists in 2022 at the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) Media Roundtable in Ibadan 

Speaking at the WPFD media roundtable and stakeholders’ forum on Journalists’ safety and protecting freedom of expression in the age of misinformation and disinformation, organised by IPC in partnership with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council, sponsored by Open Society Foundation, she said during same period, three media houses were also affected by the attacks.

The IPC Programme Officer pointed out that the 66 reported attacks was a worrisome rise as compared to the over 40 cases recorded in 2021, adding that the attacks included 24 physical assault, seven abduction, one gun attack, two threats to life, two threat to disclose source /intimidation, one invasion , one media shutdown and one robbery.

According to Mrs Akinjiyan, others are one denial of access to information, two harassment, 21 unlawful arrest and detention , one hacking of account and two threat to sanction/payment of fine.

“Of the 66 journalists, 56 are male and 10 female. Among them are 13 print journalists, 26 broadcast, 24 online media practitioners and three others.

“26 of the journalists are from the South-West, 16 from North-Central, 10 from South-South, six from North-East, four from North-West and 10 from South-East”, she said.

Mrs Akinjiyan added, “The states where the incident happened are Zamfara, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kwara, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Enugu, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Cross River and FCT Abuja”.

Stressing that the various attacks as reported were allegedly carried out by security agencies, political thugs, armed robbers and militant groups like the Islamic State’s of West Africa Province (ISWAP), Mrs Akinjiyan tasked journalists to demonstrate greater sense of solidarity in dealing with attacks on media and abuses on rights of colleagues in the profession.

Mrs Akinjiyan stated that the figure compiled were the only reported of the several unreported cases, urging journalists in the country to share information on attacks with IPC.

IPC Director, Mr Lanre Arogundade, in his presentation said IPC’s Centre for Safety and Protection of Journalists (I-CSPJ) disclosed that its goal was to contribute to the future of rights by advocating and promoting the safety of journalists, and that the establishment of the centre was also to create awareness on the imperative of protecting journalists especially as they serve as frontline workers during crisis or emergency situations.   
“The overarching framework for the establishment of I-CSPJ is the strategic objective of expanding the frontiers of press freedom in Nigeria and Africa,  which journalists’ safety is an integral part. The goal of I-CSPJ therefore is to contribute to that future of rights by advocating and promoting the safety of journalists”, he said.

The IPC Director added, “And creating awareness on the imperative of protecting journalists especially as they serve as frontline workers during crisis or emergency situations”.