‘At­tack on jour­nal­ists dan­ger­ous for democ­racy’

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye

The Coali­tion of Hu­man Rights De­fend­ers (COHRD) has flayed what it called on­slaught against press free­dom and jour­nal­ists in Akwa Ibom State.

In a state­ment signed by Inibehe Ef­fiong and Eneh John, con­vener and sec­re­tary, the group said it was par­tic­u­larly sad­dened by “the un­law­ful and un­demo­cratic ma­nip­u­la­tion of the Depart­ment of State Ser­vice (DSS) by the state gov­ern­ment in a bid to sup­press all forms of per­ceived anti-gov­ern­ment re­ports in the media, es­pe­cially the lo­cal media in Akwa Ibom State.

“On Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 30, 2015, a news­pa­per ven­dor by name Mr. Nd­ifreke Asuquo Etim was as­saulted by a for­mer sen­a­tor. This un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent took place right in­side the Akwa Ibom State Gov­ern­ment House where the ven­dor had gone to sell his pa­pers. The only ex­pla­na­tion of­fered by the sen­a­tor for as­sault­ing the ven­dor was that he ad­ver­tised lo­cal news­pa­pers that re­ported ‘un­favourable’ sto­ries against the state gov­ern­ment.

Also, on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 3, 2015, Mr. Gideon Ekere, pub­lisher of a lo­cal tabloid in Akwa Ibom State, Global Post News­pa­per, was ar­rested by armed op­er­a­tives of the DSS. COHRD ap­pealed to the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the DSS to as a mat­ter of ur­gency in­de­pen­dently in­ves­ti­gate the role of the DSS in Akwa Ibom State in the on­go­ing clam­p­down on jour­nal­ists.

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