Participants at a one-day workshop organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Makurdi have called for the protection and safety of journalists, even as they called for punitive measures against individuals or groups who brutalise any media professional.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the workshop with the theme: â€˜Promoting Safety for Journalists and Combating Impunity in Nigeriaâ€™, organised by the NUJ in collaboration with UNESCO at the NUJ House in Makurdi, the Benue State capital at the weekend.
The communique posited that there were glaring acts of impunity in the Nigerian society by both the government agencies and the public and decried the negative effects of these vices especially on journalists.
While calling on the Nigerian legislature to introduce a new legislation that would expressly provide for the safety of practising journalists, participants noted that there was an urgent need for civil society groups to also come together and provide a common front in the fight against impunity and the insecurity of practising journalists in the county.
â€œThere is need for enlightenment programmes for both the public and security operatives to ensure adequate support for practising journalists since both of them are working for the general good of the society.â€
The communique however stressed that there had been appreciable improvement in the relationship between journalists and security personnel in the country but that there was still much room for improvement.
While urging the NUJ to monitor the implementation of the resolution on promoting safety for journalists in the country, the communique stressed the need for journalists to take full advantage of the existing insurance programme as a buffer against unseen professional hazards.