Ogbu: NUJ demands investigation, urges journalists to prioritise safety

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By Haruna Yusuf
The Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT Council, has expressed sadness at the death of Mr Alex Ogbu, and demanded for in-depth investigation into the circumstances leading to his tragic death.

The NUJ FCT, in a statement on Thursday, by its Chairman, Mr Emma Ogbeche expressed the sadness in Abuja.

Ogbeche said that it seemed a pattern for journalists covering protest in Abuja to be targeted, this, resulting in tragic outcome.

The chairman said:“It is heart-rending to know that yet another journalist was felled in this seeming unending orgy of bloodletting in Abuja and other parts of the country.

” We at the NUJ are now asking if this is a pattern where journalists become victims in the legitimate pursuit of their profession as reporters.

“It is barely seven months now that Precious Owolabi with Channels TV was cut down in his prime, only for Ogbu to die in a senseless manner.

“We demand that the FCT Police Command commences investigation into this death, one too many, and ensure that the officer(s) involved in this killing faces the full weight of the law.
” The police should know that any investigation without the inclusion of the union and National Human Rights Commission will amount to an exercise in futility.”

“The NUJ will hold the police hierarchy responsible, if justice is not served in this matter.

“We will explore diplomatic channels to ensure that those who harass, intimidate and kill any journalist, under any guise, are made to bear the brunt of such objectionable conduct.”

Ogbeche noted that a society that made journalists victims in the course of pursuing their legitimate duty would not witness much progress,

He noted that journalism thrived in an environment of safety, stability and sanctity of the rule of law, stressing that hostility toward journalists should be checked.

The NUJ chairman, therefore, called on journalists to remember the deceased and his young family in their prayers.

Ogbeche, however,urged journalists to consider their safety as paramount when covering protest, stressing that “no journalist should become the story.”

Ogbu, until his death,worked with Regent Africa Times where he covered politics and was a critical voice demanding for good governance.

According to the chairman,findings thus far shows that the late Ogbu was felled by a stray bullet during a clash between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shi’ites and Police in Abuja.

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