The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has drawn attention to the alarming danger faced by journalists in Nigeria, revealing that 22 journalists have lost their lives in the country since 1992. To address this concerning trend, CPJ has called upon President Bola Tinubu to take decisive steps to enhance the safety and freedom of journalists.
In a statement from CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg on August 29, the organization urged President Tinubu to implement legislative changes, regulations, and measures to put an end to the unjust imprisonment and surveillance of journalists. Ginsberg emphasized the ongoing threats, harassment, and physical attacks that journalists in Nigeria encounter from security forces, politicians, and their supporters, particularly when covering protests and elections.
The statement highlighted that during recent presidential and state elections, CPJ documented over 40 instances of intimidation, physical assaults, or detentions of journalists. Since 1992, CPJ has documented the deaths of at least 22 journalists in Nigeria, with two others still missing and presumed dead. Out of these cases, a minimum of 12 journalists were confirmed to have been killed due to their journalistic activities.
CPJ called upon President Tinubu to ensure accountability for attacks against the press and to lead legal and regulatory reforms that would prevent the unwarranted incarceration and surveillance of journalists. The committee also urged the President to ensure unobstructed access to the internet, online platforms, and news websites.
Additionally, CPJ encouraged President Tinubu to use his three-month anniversary to reinvigorate press freedom throughout Nigeria. The organization’s message underscores the urgent need for coordinated actions to protect the lives, rights, and operational freedom of journalists without fear of retaliation or harm.