By Emeka Okonkwo
Abuja — NIGERIA has been urged to investigate the alleged detention, harassment and assault of journalist by security personnel and armed individuals during the just-ended governorship elections.
The violations against journalists were reported around the West African country during the hotly-contested polls.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CJP) denounced the harassment and called on the government of re-elected president, Muhammadu Buhari, to investigate and hold perpetrators accountable.
“Freedom and fairness of any election require that journalists are permitted to work unimpeded and without fear,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ Africa programme coordinator.
“Nigeria must act to ensure journalists can work safely during elections, and the first step is to hold responsible those who attacked or impeded the media during the recent polls.”
Njoka Irabor, the Nigerian Army’s Acting Assistant Director of Public Relations, rejected allegations by the media group.
“No journalist was held hostage,” he stated.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with over 194 million people, is reeling from chaotic elections. There were reports of vote rigging and ballot snatching in the governorship polls held last week and the presidential elections staged at the end of February.
Attacks by the Boko Haram sect during polls also wrecked the elections. Buhari is scheduled to be sworn in May but his main rival, Atiku Abubakar, is challenging the re-election of the former military leader.