The International Press Center (IPC) has reported the assault of numerous journalists during the state election coverage across the country on Saturday.
While cases abound nationwide, the IPC identified instances of violence against journalists in Rivers, Ogun and Lagos State.
In Lagos State, reporter Oba Adeoye, cameraman Opeyemi Adenihun and driver Yusuf Hasan, all members of the Arise News crew, came under attack while reporting the election at the Elegushi Palace in Lagos.
They were reported to have been driven to an unidentified location after having some of their devices taken away and damaged.
Adenihun’s face was injured and bloodied.
Still in Lagos, political thugs and hoodlums harassed and barred Henrietta Oke, Amarachi Amushie and Nkiru Nwokedi, reporters and cameramen of the African Independent Television (AIT), from reporting the elections in parts of Eti-Osa, Ifako-Ijaiye and Amuwo Odofin local government areas.
Amushie was harassed, her camera was destroyed, and the photographer was assaulted before a party chieftain. Nwokedi lost his phone in the process, but it was later found.
In Ogun State, the News Agency of Nigeria (NANS) reported that Adejoke Adeleye, one of its reporters, was among several journalists assaulted in the Itori Odo area of Abeokuta South Local Government Area. The agency also reported that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were assaulted, and ballot boxes destroyed.
Furthermore, the agency reported that in Rivers State, despite journalists presenting adequate identification, security officials denied them access to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate’s polling unit.
Melody Lawal, the IPC’s Press Freedom and Safety Alert Desk Officer, in a press release, tasked security services with conducting thorough investigations into the attacks on journalists and ensuring that those guilty faced the consequences of their actions.
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