COVID-19: Stop harassing journalists on duty, OMPAN tells security officials

Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) has condemned the incessant attack on journalists by security operatives covering the coronavirus situation across the country.

In a terse statement signed by Ismaila Y K, its national PRO, OMPAN called on the leadership of Nigeria’s security outfits to call their men to order. The association also called on the government to make available some “financial stimulus to support the vital work that journalists across Nigeria are doing, with respect to the coverage of COVID-19.”

The statement read;

“Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) has noticed with dismay, the highhandedness of some security agencies who have been caught on tape manhandling journalists. The only crime committed by these journalists is that they dared the odds to remain in the streets to report COVID-19 response across Nigeria in a selfless show of patriotism.

“It is particularly shocking that instead of commendation, the Nigerian journalists are being battered in clear breach of their rights as professionals going about their national service.

“OMPAN calls on the heads of Nigerian security establishments to reign in their operatives. The journalist is supposed to be protected and not endengered.

“OMPAN will like to also use this opportunity to call on governments at all levels to put together a financial stimulus to support the vital work that journalists across Nigeria are doing, with respect to the coverage of COVID-19 response. It goes without saying that journalists are the only other professionals standing side by side, and risking their lives together with health workers to spread hope.

“This is the least government can do to show that it truly values the vital services that journalists render.”

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