The Lagos Journalists’ League (LJL), a group of conscientious journalists operating in Lagos has frowned at the barbaric harassment of journalists by policemen Tuesday night.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by the group’s acting Secretary, Enitan Olukotun, LJL queried the rationale behind locking up, detaining journalists who are designated as essential workers for being on the road after 8pm when curfew sets in.
The statement read: “The police can’t feign ignorance on how pen professionals ply their trade.
“These Journalists who are rarely appreciated by the society work around the clock to keep the society informed and stabilize the polity by filtering false news.
“It is disheartening that many of our colleagues had to pass the night on major highways across the state with the attendant health and security risks.
“The high handedness and overzealousness of policemen in enforcing the curfew is rather disturbing even when the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 had earlier given members of the fourth Estate permission to move without harassment.
“Lagos Journalists League therefore demands unreserved apology from the police authorities for this act.
“Like other essential professionals who had threatened or embark on industrial action over the harassment, Lagos journalists can also consider similar action if this unfortunate harassment continues unabated.
“The League draws the attention of the public to dangers inherent in news gathering and processing during this Covid-19 period.
“Some of our colleagues had contracted the dreaded COVID-19 virus whilst working to keep the society informed on the novel virus.
“It is therefore provocative to compensate our colleagues who are working in a very difficult condition with detention and harassment.”