The Bauchi State Council of the Nigeria union of Journalist (NUJ), on Friday directed its members to immediately suspend coverage of activities of the state police command.
The directive was contained in a press release signed by the council chairman, Comrade Umar Sa’idu and the secretary, Isah Garba Gadau on police brutality against journalists in the State, made available to SDT.
The Union condemned in strong terms the negative action of operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in the State who molested and injured one of its members, Damina Yusuf of the AIT on Thursday 30th July, 2021 while covering protest of the students of the Bauchi College of Agriculture, Yelwa, Bauchi.
The victim was later admitted at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi.
The suspension of coverage of police activities, according to the release, would last until such a time the perpetrators of the dastardly act were fished out, prosecuted “in addition to the proper payment of compensation and settlement of medical bills of the victim”.
“The Bauchi Council of the Nigeria union of Journalists, NUJ, has noted with dismay, uncivilized manner of the Nigeria Police in adopting brutality as part of its tradition especially against the journalists.
“The union condemned in strong terms the negative action of the Rapid Response Squad of the State Police command that molested and injured one of its member, Damina Yusuf of the AIT on Thursday, 30th July, 2021 while covering students protest at the Bauchi College of Agriculture, Yelwa who was later admitted at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.
“Based on this barbaric act of the police, the union has directed its members to suspend with immediate effect, coverage of all activities of the police in the state until the perpetrators of the act are fished out and prosecuted in addition to the proper payment of compensation and settlement of medical bills of the victim,” the NUJ stated.
It then noted with dissatisfaction the way members of the Nigeria Police from Bauchi command who always claimed to be partners of journalists in progress, brutalised, molested and harassed the AIT reporter and seized his camera, laptop computer, microphone with AIT logo, mobile phones, modem and wallet containing substantial amount of money, among other belongings.
The union, however, commended “the management of the College of Agriculture, Bauchi, for its humanitarian gesture by taking the AIT reporter to hospital for medical attention”.
The NUJ then called on the Bauchi State government to consider the establishment of a standing panel of inquiry to hear cases of brutality against citizens in the State.