3 journalists injured by gunfire at Nigeria political rally, CPJ demands probe


JOHANNESBURG, January 11 – Nigerian authorities should rigorously investigate violence at a political rally in Lagos earlier this week during which at least three journalists were injured by gunfire, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Friday.

The journalists were injured on Tuesday when a gunfight broke out between rival factions of the National Union of Roads Transport Workers, who are members of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress party.

Emmanuel Oladesu, an editor of The Nation Newspaper, Temitope Ogunbanke, a correspondent with the New Telegraph, and Abiodun Yusuf, a cameraman with Ibile Television, were injured by stray bullets.

Commenting further on the violence, the CPJ said authorities must ensure the safety of reporters covering political events.

“The security of journalists should be a priority for all political figures, especially in the period around February’s election,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal.

“Without safety guarantees, journalists will be unable to conduct their work without fear and keep the public informed.”

Chike Oti, the spokesperson for Lagos police, was quoted by CPJ as saying the violence was a result of an “intra-union affair” and was not a premeditated attack on journalists. Oti said that 15 people were arrested in connection with the incident and that the investigation was ongoing.

Nigeria is scheduled to hold a national election on February 16.

– African News Agency (ANA)