The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council has banned media coverage of all Police activities in the state following the unwarranted attack and brutalization of Vanguard Correspondent, Akpokona Omafuaire.
The union placed the ban on Tuesday evening in a statement signed by the State Chairman, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu and Secretary, Comrade Patrick Ochei.
The statement reads in full below:
We are sombre that the Police could be insensitive to the plight of our member who is lying at the hospital yet without any care and attention from those who inflicted the injury on him.
The Council is taken aback by the indifferent disposition of police in Delta State as many journalists have one story or the other to tell about their experiences in the hands of those who are supposed to protect them since the #ENDSARS Protest began.
Akpokona’s case is one of the numerous issues the Council has recorded in the past few months and can no longer fold her hands and watch endlessly her members being molested, beaten, harassed, brutalised, intimidated and detained.
Right now we are calling on our members in the Council to stop attending police press briefings, stop using their press releases, stop covering their activities or taking interviews from them henceforth. We are in support of the victim seeking redress in court and we will join him to get justice.
The PPRO whose office it is to coordinate police relationship with the media has shown disdain and no concern to the frequent harassment, intimidation and brutalization of journalists in the State.
It is on this note that we are calling first for the removal of the DPO of Owvian Aladja Police Division for gross incompetence and then the police hierarchy should fish out Sergeant Godspower and his cohorts for appropriate sanction.
We will maintain working synergy and cordial relationship with the Police Command in the State if they are ready to; however, we are not ready to bury any of our members who will die from police brutality before the Police will learn how to deal with journalists.
We reiterate that the ban on coverage of police activities takes immediate effect and any member of the Union who flouts this order will face disciplinary action from the Council.
A stitch in time saves nine!