The Nigerian Press Organisations (NPO), the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Nigerian Guild of Editors and Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN), yesterday, paid a solidarity visit to the Television Continental (TVC) and The Nation Newspapers.
Their visit was to sympathise with the organisations over attacks on them by suspected hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest.
TVC and The Nation Newspapers, owned by the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), former Sen. Ahmed Tinubu, were attacked on Wednesday in Lagos by suspected hoodlums hiding under the guise of #EndSARS protesters.
President of NPO, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, who led the visitors, told the managements of the two organisations that their solidarity visit was not only for them but for all journalists and for a free press in Nigeria.
Obaigbena said that though journalists were attacked but they were not intimidated against carrying out their constitutional responsibilities, stressing that the attack was unacceptable to NPO.
He commended The Nation Newspapers for its Editorial page two days after the attack seeking for a better Police force and society, and urged journalists working in the two organisations not to be silenced through the attack, rather, they should always stand for the truth.
Obaigbena said what he saw at TVC was a scene of “utter devastation’’, stressing that an attack on a medium is an attack on everybody.
“No matter the divide, we must always support free speech and expression of truth. TVC in their broadcasting supported the protests for better Police reform. We are in utter shock as to what we have seen,’’ Obaigbena said.
Mr Guy Bruce, President of the Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN), sympathised with the management of TVC, noting that it was cowardly of the people to come to TVC to destroy such an edifice.
Mr Ken Ugbeche, Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), said TVC stood for the truth and as a purveyor of the truth, urging the management of TVC to keep the flag flying as no one could break the spirit.
“At the NGE, we have come with a message of hope,’’ he said.
President of NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, said the attack on the two organisations and others across the nation was an attack on all media practitioners in Nigeria. Isiguzo described the attacks as unfortunate trying to pigeon hole the media, and that silencing the media would be silencing good governance and development in Nigeria.
He called on government to uncover those behind the attacks and bring them to justice, while he assured the two organisations of NUJ’s support.