The Initiative for Grassroot Advancement, (INGRA) has condemned the recent attack on a Journalist working with Confluence Cable Network, owners of Grace FM, by suspected drug peddlers in Lokoja metropolis.
The statement which was signed by the Executive Director of INGRA, Mr Hamza Aliyu and titled, “increasing state of insecurity in Lokoja metropolis” said the attack has once again brought to the fore the dangerous and toxic atmosphere in the area around our politics and security.
“Where youths fueled with the audacity that they are “untouchable” decided to maliciously inflict bodily harm on a Journalist in public view for doing his job is totally unacceptable and condemnable.
“This happened and the security agencies, which are within stone distance from the scene, are still yet to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.
“This is a warning sign to all persons who are in the forefront of raising issues about the ills of bad governance. How do drug peddlers have such temerity to unleash such harm on a journalist for such flimsy excuse?”
The statement observed that Kogi State is awash with cult gangs who maim, kill and harm themselves and others with impunity and the State Government seems relaxed or incapable of bringing the situation to order.
The statement reads further “The situation is troubling and shows a total failure of security in a state where accolades have continuously been thrown at the government on the issue.
“We now leave in perpetual fear that what you say against the state or any cult group, could be used against you or bring you bodily harm. “This is unacceptable in a democratic system. Kogi state is not a dictatorial state and we must not accept this attitude for the media Society.
“Only in the recent memory another media personality was arrested and jailed for stories that the “authorities” found “unpleasant”.
Another popular Civil Society Activist was hounded and threatened by the Kogi State House of Assembly for publishing facts not favourable to the House.
Kogi State must be democratic in its affairs and we must never accept a situation where having contrary opinions could be a death sentence.
“INGRA calls on the Security Agencies and The State Government to condemn this action and immediately arrest and prosecute those responsible for these heinous actions.
“We call on the NUJ and the Civil Society to organise a protest to Government House to demand a Peaceful environment for all shades of opinions, no matter how unpleasant they seem but as long as it’s within the legal ambit of the law”.