The Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has threatened to boycott all political activities in the state if political thugs are not cautioned against attacking journalists in the discharge of their legitimate duties.
The state Chairman of the union, Comrade Umar Abdulwahab gave the warning in a statement issued at the weekend in Ilorin while reacting to the last Thursday’s assault on Daily Trust reporter, Mrs Romoke Ahmad and correspondents and cameramen of Channels Television, Core TV and AIT during the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries in the state.
The statement said the Kwara NUJ condemned in strong terms the attack, adding that it would no longer condone attacks on its members. The union urged security agencies to rise to the occasion.
The NUJ however asked all politicians in the state to warn their supporters against violating human rights and descending on journalists in the state and cautioned that it would boycott all political activities should there be any further attack on journalists in the state.
It therefore called on security agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police Force, Kwara State Command and the State Security Services to probe the attack on journalists in the state by bringing the culprits to book.
Hoodlums suspected to be loyalists of a governorship aspirant of APC in the state, Alhaji Yaman Abdullahi on Thursday descended on Mrs Ahmad in Ilorin over allegation of negative publicity against their principal.
The incident, which occurred at the APC secretariat located along Murtala Mohammed Way, Ilorin, saw the female journalist who was invited to cover a protest , being attacked physically by the hoodlums, thereby losing some of her property in the melee.
It was gathered that it took the intervention of other journalists and law enforcement agents before Mrs Ahmad could be rescued.
Narrating her ordeal, the victim said the thugs acted on the instruction of a brother to the governorship aspirant, one Muhammed Kudu, who was at the scene, adding that she was deceived to attend and cover the rally organised by the Abdullahi Yaman Support Group.
“When I got to the APC secretariat, one Muhammed Kudu called me and said he deliberately asked me to be invited for a purpose.
“He called some thugs and discussed with them. The thugs ran after me and said I was the one who wrote a negative story about Abdullahi Yaman. They beat me up. They damaged my property, while some of them wrote my vehicle’s number plate and threatened to deal with me,” Ahmad said,
Meanwhile, Mrs Ahmad said that she has lodged a complaint at the Kwara State Police Command.