By Manasseh Isyaku
The International Press Centre (IPC) says 66 Nigerian journalists and three media houses suffered various forms of attacks in 2022.
Melody Akinjiyan, IPC programme officer, spoke on Friday while presenting a report on the attacks on journalists in 2022 at the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) media roundtable in Ibadan, Oyo state.
The event was organised by IPC in partnership with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo state council and sponsored by Open Society Foundation.
Akinjiyan said the 66 reported attacks on journalists in 2022 was a worrisome rise compared to the over 40 cases recorded in 2021.
She listed the types of attacks as physical assault (24); abduction (7); gun attack (1); threats to life (2); threat to disclose source/intimidation (2); invasion (1); media shutdown (1) and robbery (1).
Others were denial of access to information (1), harassment (2), unlawful arrest and detention (21), hacking of account (1) and threat to sanction/payment of fine (2).
“Of the 66 journalists, 56 are males and 10 females. Among them are 13 print journalists, 26 broadcast, 24 online media practitioners and three others,” NAN quoted her as saying.
“Twenty-six of the journalists are from the South-west, 16 from North-central, 10 from South-south, six from North-east, four from North-west and 10 from South-east.
“The states where the incident happened are Zamfara, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kwara, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Enugu, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Cross River and FCT.”
The IPC programme officer said the various attacks, as reported, were allegedly carried out by security agencies, political thugs, armed robbers and militant groups like the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Akinjiyan asked journalists to demonstrate a greater sense of solidarity in dealing with attacks on the media and abuses of the rights of colleagues in the profession.
She also urged journalists to always bring issues of journalists’ attack, safety, freedom and welfare to the front burner.