On Tuesday, 4 January 2022, the headquarters of the Thunder Blowers newspaper located at Fadama Plaza, Gusau, in Zamfara State was vandalised by suspected political thugs on account of its reporting and analysis on the activities of the Zamfara State government. Governor Bello Matawalle, whom the media organisation alleges is the sponsor of the attack, is yet to denounce or initiate any investigation aimed at bringing those who are culpable to justice.
The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom, CWPPF, continues to condemn, in strong terms, this growing trend of state security attacks on journalists and the vandalisation of media outlets and their equipment.
This rising pattern of attacks and its evident constitutional breach raises worrying concerns for the protection of citizens’ rights, the ability of the state to ensure effective governance, and the statutory obligation of the news media to hold the government and state officials accountable as stipulated by the 1999 constitution.
In the same vein, we condemn and demand the immediate and unconditional release of Nelson Omonu, a journalist whisked away by security operatives believed to be working on the orders of Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari.
This dangerous trend of constant attacks influenced by political powers threatens the health of the Nigerian news media and the resilience of our country’s democracy.
CWPPF also calls on Governors Bello Masari of Katsina state and Matawalle of Zamfara state to take prompt measures to end these attacks on the news media, protect journalists who through their investigative reporting expose corrupt government officials, and institute cautionary and disciplinary actions against state actors who engage in unruly attitudes against journalists and citizens.
CWPPF stands to defend the freedom of the press and expression.
About the Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom, CWPPF
The CWPPF is a group of media and civil society organisations committed to upholding democracy and good governance by protecting the ethos of whistleblowing, freedom of expression and press freedom.
OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative
Daily Trust Newspaper
International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism
Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ)
African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
Civic Media Lab
Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)
International Press Centre (IPC)
Media Rights Agenda (MRA)
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
HEDA Resources Centre.