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UGBAGWU: 'WHY ATTACKS ON JOURNALISTS MAY PERSIST'

By NBF NEWS
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WITH the 2011 general elections fast approaching, the Niger State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Baba Barau, has expressed fears that attacks on journalists may persist given the 'do-or- die' politics adopted by politicians.

The commissioner has therefore advised journalists to expect more attacks from desperate politicians.

Reacting to the killing of the Judiciary Correspondent of The Nation Newspapers last Saturday, Mr. Edo Ugbagwu, the commissioner warned journalists to be cautious of desperate politicians.

Speaking during the inauguration of the secretariat of The Correspondents chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Niger State Council, in Minna on Wednesday, the commissioner lamented the rising wave of attacks on journalists.

According to him, journalists should expect more attacks because, 'Nigeria politicians have abandoned decency in pursuit of public office for 'do or die politics.'

Barau, however, urged Nigerian journalists not relent in doing their jobs.

Condemning the senseless killings of journalists, the commissioner reminded members of the profession that as watch dogs of the society, 'no amount of intimidation or threat to our lives should deter us from discharging our professional responsibility.'

He added, 'The society is watching and relying on us for day to day happening in the society. We should always ensure neutrality in our reporting, even at gun point.'

Earlier, the Chairman of the chapel, Mallam Abu Nmodu, said that the decision to acquire a secretariat was borne out of the need to reduce the over-dependence on government- owned press centre facilities and in order not to be compromised.

The NUJ leader lamented that many media houses posted correspondents to the state without providing them with offices and facilities to work with, stressing that the chapel secretariat will assist such journalists.

Over N800, 000 was spent on equipping the secretariat which has the office of the chairman, the secretary/treasurer, a committee room and a conference hall.