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Journalists urged to prioritise safety, security

Journalists in Plateau State have been advised to prioritise their personal safety and security in light of the increasingly hazardous environment they operate in. Professor…

Journalists in Plateau State have been advised to prioritise their personal safety and security in light of the increasingly hazardous environment they operate in.

Professor Taye Obateru, a mass communication professor at the University of Jos and former correspondent for Vanguard newspapers, issued the advice during the 17th Memorial Lecture held in honour of six journalists who lost their lives in an auto crash while on a media tour with a state governor in 2007.

Recall that six journalists, Moses Ezulike (Champion), Agbo Isaac (The Nation), Alfred James (Leadership), Musa Nuhu (NAN), Judith Adama (New Nigerian) and an AIT correspondent, died in an auto crash in Shendam while accompanying ex-governor Joshua Dariye on an official tour.

Obateru said, “It is becoming increasingly risky to be a journalist in Nigeria. Our lives are seriously endangered. We face mental and emotional hazards, and it is imperative that we take personal responsibility for our safety. We must be prepared to refuse assignments when our safety is not guaranteed.”

He further urged journalists to advocate for the reintroduction of life insurance policy if they are serious about their personal safety.

“Before embarking on any assignment, consider the potential risks to both the deceased and the living, including yourself,” he added.

Polycap Auta, chairman of the correspondents’ chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Jos, said the one-day lecture and prayers were organised to commemorate the tragic events of May 16, 2007.

The former governor of Plateau State, under whose convoy the accident occurred, was represented by his former commissioner, Gideon Mitu.

 

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