Mr Labaran Maku, the National Secretary of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on Sunday condemned the attack on two journalists in Nasarawa State.
Newsmen report that the journalists were attacked Dec. 14 by personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) attached to Pension Bureau office.
The journalists were attacked following their attempt to take photograph of the names of pensioners delisted. The victims were Rabiu Omaku of Universal Reporters Online and Gambo Ahmed of Peoples Daily Newspaper. Maku, a gubernatorial candidate of APGA in Nasarawa state, condemned the attack when he visited one of the journalists currently receiving treatment at the amenity unit of the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital Lafia. “The frequent attack on journalists and media houses is unacceptable.
“The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) must rise up to their responsibility to ensuring their members are protected to do their work in the state. “NUJ must protect its members and seek for justice for the ones attacked because the attack is one too many,” the former information minister said.
He said journalists should not be intimidated despite the primitive violence on them by those who were supposed to protect them. “If you remove the free press and the parliament, what you have is a dictatorship.
“The press must not be intimidated because if you don’t report the activities of the government to the public, our democracy would collapse. “You are empowered by the constitution to look for information and report same even if the government does not want to release such information,” Maku added.
He also expressed shock that officers of a credible agency as NSCDC would allow themselves to be used to attack harmless journalists who were performing their constitutional role.
He therefore called on the security agencies to investigate the matter and punish those found wanting to serve as deterrent to others. He promised that if elected governor, journalists in the state would be given the protection they deserved.