15 January 2013

Nigeria: The IFJ Raises Concern About Security of Journalists After the Killing of an Editor in Nigeria

press release

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today has vigorously condemned the killing of a journalist in the Nigerian city of Onithsa (Anambra state, South East).

According to Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) an IFJ affiliate, the journalist Ikechukwu Udendu, editor of Anambra News a monthly newspaper, was shot dead on Saturday 12 January 2013 by unknown persons.

"We strongly condemn the killing of Ikechukwu Udendu and stand in solidarity with his family and colleagues. Nigeria has become a country of impunity for those who have attacked and killed journalists. This is a real press freedom regress. The Government must investigate thoroughly the circumstances of his death and bring his killers to justice," said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director.

Udendu was shot while on his way to supervise the printing of his newspaper. The Nigeria union of journalists believes the act is dastardly as perpetrators made an anonymous phone call to Chukwulozie Udendu, the elder brother of Ikechukwu Udendu, asking him to go and retrieve the dead body.

"This is shocking to the Union as daily there are clear signals of such attacks on media professionals who work mostly without any insurance cover. Journalists now live in perpetual fear of being either arrested by security operatives or attacked by faceless assailants without any just cause," said Muhammad Garba, NUJ national president.

The IFJ believes that Nigeria is facing a spark of violence on which media professionals are victims. On 26 April 2012, two suicide car bombers targeted offices of Nigerian newspaper This Day in Abuja and a Media house in Kaduna. Arrests of journalists are also frequent. On 24 December 2012, journalists Musa Muhammad Awwal and Aliyu Saleh from weekly Al-Mizan, a Hausa-language newspaper, have been arrested and detained by the security forces without clear charges. They were recently released.

"In the decade, various forms of attacks against journalists have taken place, yet not a single case has been satisfactorily investigated and persecuted by the security personnel," Garba added. "This is very unacceptable, and we therefore appeal to the concerned authorities to ensure that such attacks are properly investigated and culprits brought to book," he concluded.

For more information contact the IFJ on +221 33 867 95 86/87

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries

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