HURIWA CONDEMNS ASSAULT BY SECURITY AGENTS OF NATIONS REPORTER
A media focused Civil Society Organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the alleged physical attack by armed security operatives in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State of the Nations reporter in the state Mr. Kazeem Ibrahim and demanded the prosecution and sanction of the security agents involved.
In a statement issued jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA also criticized the Imo State governor Chief Rochas Okorocha over the alleged manhandling recently of a junior police operative by security officials attached to the governor.
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA said it was particularly worried by the emerging brutal pattern of human rights violations by armed security operatives against media workers all across the country even as it wondered why the federal ministry of information has failed to take action to ensure that journalists are allowed to carry out their constitutional roles without let or hindrance.
HURIWA stated thus; “For the umpteenth time this year, we are compelled by circumstances to appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to direct his minister of Information and the National Security Adviser to properly educate security operatives on rights-based approach to maintenance of law and order and carrying out internal security operations”.
According to the Rights group: “We are disturbed that the same government that passed and signed the Iconic Freedom of Information Bill into a law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is at the same time becoming tolerant to brutal violations of the fundamental freedoms of Nigerians and especially media workers who are constitutionally authorized under section 22 of the Supreme Law to serve as agents for national transformation, accountability and transparency”.
The group recalled few months ago, the Aviation Correspondents were evicted from the press center of the Lagos International Airport because one of the photo journalists captured an image of a first class traditional ruler making use of one of the official jets belonging to the Presidency of the Federal Republic. HURIWA asked the federal government to put an end to what it called regime of serial vicious abuses of the rights of journalists by security operatives”.
Specifically, the Nations reporter in Akwa Ibom State Mr. Kazeem Ibrahim was beaten up on Sunday by security agents at the Church Service program marking Governor Godswill Akpabio's 50th birth day.
HURIWA demanded the arrest and prosecution of the indicted security operatives and the payment of compensation to the nation's reporter for this 'unwarranted primitive and vicious attack on his human dignity' by security operatives paid with tax payers money to keep the peace.
HURIWA threatened to launch global campaign against Nigerian Security Operatives if within 78 hours nothing significant is done to fish out and punish these human rights violators within the security community.