Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has condemned the brutalisation of Trust Television Cameraman, Mr. Taiwo Yishau, on February 21, 2023 at the venue of the All Progressives Congress (APC) grand finale rally for the party’s presidential flag bearer, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Yishau was reportedly attacked at one of the gates to the Teslim Balogun Stadium, venue of the rally, despite displaying his press tag issued by the party.
He was stopped from entering the venue of the rally even after explaining that he was duly assigned and accredited to cover the event; just as he was thereafter hit multiple times by a gang of hoodlums who accused him without any evidence or basis of forging the accreditation tag.
The right’s group called on the police to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators, stating that it was bewildered that policemen stationed at the venue of the rally who witnessed the attack on the media professional did nothing to assist him or to put an end to the assault.
The group described the failure of the policemen to intervene to put an end to the unwarranted attack on the cameraman as criminal negligence.
MRA Programme Officer, Mr. John Gbadamosi, in a press statement, Friday in Lagos, maid the attack on Mr. Yishau was “an egregious violation of press freedom and the basic human rights of the journalist,” stressing that “journalists play a vital role in our society, serving as watchdogs to hold those in power accountable and provide the public with essential information.
“Any attempt to silence or intimidate journalists or otherwise impede them in the performance of their duties constitutes a threat to our democracy and should not be condoned.”
Mr. Gbadamosi noted that the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage required law enforcement agencies, political parties and other relevant stakeholders to ensure an enabling environment for journalists and other media workers to effectively discharge their duties before, during and after elections.
He expressed concern at the repeated incidents of attacks on media professionals and the violation of their rights at political rallies and events, particularly those of the ruling APC, stating that it was an extremely worrying development.
Gbadamosi called on the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, to order immediate investigation into the incident and ensure that those responsible for the attack were arrested and prosecuted.
He also urged all relevant authorities, including the leadership of the various political parties, should take urgent steps to ensure the safety of journalists and put necessary measures in place to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.