The Nigerian Union of Journalists, FCT Council, has called for an investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of Alex Ogbu, a journalist in Abuja.
Ogbu who was a journalist with Regent Africa Times was hit by a stray bullet while covering the #FreeZakzaky protest at Berger in Abuja.
The NUJ in a statement by its Chairman, Emmanuel Ogbeche said it has security officials targeting journalists covering protests have become a pattern and needs to be checked.
“It is heart-rending to know that yet another journalist was felled in this seeming unending orgy of bloodletting in Abuja and other parts of the country. We at the NUJ are now asking if this is a pattern where journalists become victims in the legitimate pursuit of their profession as reporters?” Ogbeche said in the press statement.
“It is barely seven months now that Precious Owolabi with Channels TV was cut down in his prime, only for Ogbu to die in a senseless manner.
“We demand that the FCT Police Command commences investigation into this death, one too many, and ensure that the officer(s) involved in this killing faces the full weight of the law. The police should know that any investigation without the inclusion of the union and National Human Rights Commission will amount to an exercise in futility,” the statement further reads.
“The NUJ will hold the police hierarchy responsible if justice is not served in this matter. We will ensure that if the Nigerian State fails, as it has continued to demonstrate, we will explore diplomatic channels to ensure that those who harass, intimidate and kill any journalist under any guise atemade to bear the brunt of such objectionable conduct,” the statement notes.
The NUJ chairman called on journalists to remember Ogbu and his young family in their prayers and urged them to consider their safety as paramount when covering a protest, stressing that “no journalist should become the story.”
Meanwhile, the FCT Police Command has assured that an investigation will be launched into the incident.