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Communiqué issued at the end of an Emergency State Executive Council (SEC) meeting of the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), on Monday, January 20, 2014, following incessant attacks on journalists in Rivers State.

Having reviewed the political situation in Rivers State, and the increasing attacks on journalists carrying out their professional duties, the State Executive Council met and resolved as follows;

Journalists are professionals carrying out their duties as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other international Charters of which Nigeria is a signatory.

Journalists are not interested parties in the political crisis currently rocking Rivers State.

We condemn the attack on journalists working with Channels Television on Sunday, January 19, 2014, at Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, during the botched Save Rivers Movement rally.

We recall similar attacks on journalists working with TV Continental, Sun Newspapers, RSTV, Rhythm 93.7 FM, among others.

We find this situation unacceptable and urge political parties, groups and their followers, to engage in their activities and leave journalists alone to practise their chosen profession.

We also condemn a situation where policemen and other security agents, attack journalists or even stand-by and watch while journalists are being attacked by hoodlums.

We call on the Police and other security agencies to ensure the safety of lives and property of all Nigerians in Rivers State, irrespective of their political affiliations.

We also call on the Police and other security agencies to ensure the protection of journalists operating in the state, in the discharge of their professional responsibilities.

We wish to warn that should these incessant attacks continue on journalists in Rivers State, the state council of the NUJ shall take appropriate steps, including the withdrawal of our services.

Opaka Dokubo
State Chairman

Stanley Job Stanley
State Secretary