Police IG warns officers against violating rights of journalists, other Nigerians

Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba has declared his zero tolerance for the abuse of the rights of journalists and other citizens.

At a meeting with the International Press Institute (IPI) Nigeria, Baba said the police respect the role of journalists and would collaborate with the media to advance security, human rights and justice.

Baba stressed that the agency and the media are partners, both working towards the same goal, though from different prisms.

“It is therefore very important to the Nigeria police that while the media goes about its duties, it can do so without fear and in total security.”

The Police Chief vowed that firm action shall be taken against officers who violate the rights of citizens, especially journalists.

“Our doors are open, you can report such violations to us”, he noted while appealing for more public enlightenment on the role of the police.

“We need the people to understand and respect boundaries, especially during protests and during disasters”

President of IPI Nigeria, Musikilu Mojeed complained about the treatment of journalists who are arbitrarily arrested, harassed and detained.

He explained that the incidents caused the country’s low ranking in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders.

Lamenting that Nigeria was ranked 120 out of 180 countries, Mojeed urged the IGP to caution his men to stop allowing themselves to be used against journalists by politicians, officeholders and others.

The IPI head said such individuals should be advised to seek redress in court “instead of coming to the police”.

“Your men too should understand journalists’ role in society and desist from attacking them in the course of their work”, he added.

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