The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Council has condemned in strong terms the continued intimidation and harassment of journalists by personnel of the State Security Services, SSS.
The warning is coming on the heels of Monday’s unwarranted physical harassment and assault of a photojournalist with the Vanguard Newspapers, Oluwagbemiga Olamikan, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
In a statement jointly signed by the council chairman Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche and Council secretary Ochiaka Ugwu respectively in Abuja, the union noted that it has become habitual for the SSS and other security agencies to pick at journalists in the legitimate performance of their duties, and called for an immediate end to the use of excessive force against journalists and other media workers.
However, council has previously reported on the disproportionate use of force by the state actors against journalists during coverage with security operatives preventing audio and visual recordings of protests and public demonstrations.
The NUJ called on the SSS to rein in its operatives with the media, noting that its arbitrary actions against journalists were embarrassing and further contribute to Nigeria’s poor ranking on the press freedom index.