By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Following injury sustained by three journalists at All Progressives Congress (APC) official flag off of the governorship campaign rally, Lagos Journalists League (LJL), an influential group of professionals, has condemned standard of security provided for their colleagues, demanding special security.
LJL lamented that journalists, whom everyone relied upon for optimum publicity, have become endangered species in the course of duty.
The group, in a statement released its General Secretary, Enitan Olukotun, on Wednesday, described the attack on the pressmen as unwarranted by suspected hoodlums drafted to the rally.
“We are deeply worried that whilst media contributes immensely in deepening the nation’s fragile democracy through election coverage and reportage, the political class who are the biggest beneficiaries of the process could not provide adequate security for our members on such dangerous assignments.
“Perhaps, if Lagos APC had provided tight security measures accorded its VIPs for Journalists at Sky Power Ground, the Group Political Editor of The Nation Newspaper, Emmanuel Oladesu, Temitope Ogunbanke of New Telegraph and Ibile Television cameraman, Abiodun Yusuf would not have been victims of the deadly gang clash at the rally.”
LJL, henceforth demands treatment and security measures accorded VIPs and top chieftains of the political parties at rallies to be extended to men and women of the fourth Estate of the realm.
“We will not hesitate to advise our esteemed colleagues to shun rallies of any political parties who could not provide the barest minimum security for journalists who are reporting their activities.
“Lagos APC should with immediate effect provide world-class , adequate treatment for Oladesu, Ogunbanke and Yusuf who were attacked by daredevil hoodlums during the melee.
“After all, the affected journalists are not lesser beings to Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, an APC chieftain who was involved in a similar tragic incidence in Ekiti State.”