NUJ Knocks Police Invasion Of Live Program To Arrest Guest
The Abia State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has described as primitive, the invasion of All Breaking News (ABN) Radio/TV, Umuahia, by police operatives.
The police operatives arrested a guest on a live programme during the incident.
The Abia NUJ council in a statement made available to journalists in Umuahia, said that the invasion should be condemned by well-meaning Nigerians.
In the statement signed by Victor Ndukwe, the Abia NUJ Chairman and Adaeze Ralph Igbokwe, the association recalled how policemen invaded FLO FM in Umuahia to arrest a guest invited for a live programme, some years ago.
The association also recalled how men of the Nigerian Military invaded the NUJ Press Centre in Umuahia in 2017, where they beat up journalists and destroyed their working equipment.
“These attacks refuse to take into account, the robust relationship the media in Abia has fostered with security agencies in the state over the years.
“We want to state categorically that these attacks are in bad taste, designed to harm the media industry as they have the propensity to make media houses endangered zones for guests invited to live programmes and muzzle plurality of opinions which oil democracy.
“In an era when live programming has become the fashion in broadcasting, arresting guests who honour invitations to live programmes translates to a systematic but crude means of putting the media out of business occasioned by resultant damages to costly, sensitive equipment and scaring people away.
“We call on the police hierarchy in the state to reign in their men and put a stop to such ill-motivated attacks.
The Council aligns with the management of ABN TV in their demand for unreserved apology from and replacement of damaged equipment by the police,” the NUJ said.
The statement noted that both the police and the media are working for the good of the Nigerian society.
Operatives of the Abia State Police Command had on Tuesday stormed the ABN TV in Umuahia, Abia State arrested a guest, Udensi Donald, during a live programme “Youth Rendezvous.”
The Director, ABN TV/Radio, Ifeanyi Okali, disclosed this in a statement on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
According to him, the invading policemen claimed the brother of the guest, Uche Onwuka Udensi, had a petition against him over a family matter, and refused to heed to pleas to allow the live programme ends before making the arrest.
Mr Okali also alleged that items in the station were damaged during the invasion, and therefore demanded an apology from the command, adding that their actions violated press freedom and human rights.