Mohammed Kaka Misau
The Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Yobe State has severed ties with the Government of Yobe state over alleged intimidation and harassment of its members by Security personnel attached to the government house.
The was contained in a press release signed by the Chairman and the Secretary of the Chapel, Ahmed I. Abba and Michael Oshomah respectively on Friday.
According to the press release, the decision was the outcome of the chapel’s emergency meeting held on Friday, 28th October, 2022 which resolved to boycott all state government’s activities.
The press release also mentioned lack of extending formal invitation to government activities to the Correspondents’ Chapel by the officials of the Yobe state government as another reason for the boycott.
“As members of the Fourth Estate of realm, part of our responsibilities is to inform the public on happenings in the state including the government house”, parts of the press release read.
“Regrettably, however, for over a year of the administration of Governor Mai Mala Buni, the chapel has never received any formal invitation for coverage by the Governor’s spokesman, Alhaji Mamman Muhammed, as it was the practice in the past”, it added.
The Correspondents’ Chapel said that the scenario has negatively affected the operations of representatives of national media dailies operating in the State.
According to them, lack of accessibility to Governor Mai Mala Buni by working journalists in the state also formed part of their grievances.
“The chapel finds it disturbing, that despite the governor’s historic reign as APC Extraordinary Caretaker National Chairman and being a Governor for over 3 years where he has been addressing the Press at Abuja and other parts of the country but never addressed National Dailies in his own state to speak on his administration’s policies and programmes which demonstrates his inaccessibility to resident journalists”, the Chapel lamented.
The press release directed members of the Correspondents’ Chapel to desist from using press releases issued from Yobe State government without prior contact with our members.
The chapel calls on heads of security agencies in the state to sensitize their personnel on media security relation.
“The chapel finds it necessary to take this critical decision,in other to alert relevant stakeholders and appropriate authorities to take decisive action towards addressing the above issues amicably”, the press release further explained.
The urged members of the public and the Yobe state government not to consider the with action with sentiment but on the basis of the Chapel’s position as one of the major stakeholders of Nigeria’s democracy.
“It is also important to note that the coming election is very critical in our Nation’s democracy and therefore a fatal mistake in an attempting to circumvent the media”, the press release cautioned.