The Lagos Journalists’ League (LJL), a group of conscientious journalists operating in Lagos, has frowned at the harassment of journalists and other health workers by policemen on Tuesday night.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by its acting Secretary, Enitan Olukotun, the group described the action of the police as barbaric.
The group, therefore, demands unreserved apology from the police authorities for this act.
Olukotun queried the rationale behind locking up, detaining journalists and others who are designated as essential workers for being on the road after 8.00 p.m. when curfew had set in.
“The police cannot feign ignorance on how pen professionals do their job.
“These journalists who are rarely appreciated by the society work around the clock to keep the society informed and stabilize the polity by filtering false news,” Olukotun said
He said it was disheartening that many Journalists had to pass the night on major highways across the state with the attendant health and security risks.
He said the high handedness and overzealousness of policemen in enforcing the curfew was rather disturbing even when the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had earlier given members of the fourth Estate permission to move without harassment.
“Lagos Journalists League, therefore, demands unreserved apology from the police authorities for this act.
“Like other essential professionals who had threatened to embark on industrial action over the harassment, Lagos journalists can also consider similar action if this unfortunate harassment continues unabated,” the group said.
Olukotun said some journalists had been infected with the dreaded COVID-19 virus whilst working to keep the society informed on the novel virus.
“It is therefore provocative to compensate our colleagues who are working in a very difficult condition with detention and harassment,” he said