Bauchi journalists to boycott party’s activities

Even as political activities in the country
heighten up ahead of the 2011 general elections, the leadership of the
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Bauchi State has directed its
members to boycott all activities of the Congress for Progressive
Change (CPC) and those of its candidates in Bauchi State.

The state NUJ Chairman, Dahiru Garba, who
announced the directive shortly after an emergency meeting of the State
Working Committee (SWC) of the council in Bauchi, said the decision was
necessary in view of a recent threat by some political thugs, believed
to be loyalists of one of the factions of the CPC in the state, to kill
some journalists and burn down the Bauchi Radio Corporation (BRC) and
the FRCN Globe FM stations for their reportage of the party.

“This situation is most unfortunate because we
believe journalists in the state have been doing their best to report
political happenings as objectively and fairly as possible,” he said.
“In fact, we are always guided by the fact that our profession demands
a high sense of fairness and the need to give equal hearing to all
shades of opinion. As a matter of fact, the only crime committed by the
two stations, according to the thugs, was giving fair access to the
media to an opposing faction within the CPC.”

Uncivilised threat

Mr Dahiru, who condemned the act in strong terms,
described it as ‘uncivilised’ and ‘unfortunate,’ and wondered why the
party supporters would threaten journalists despite the NUJ’s hosting
of the faction of the party they support at two different press
conferences in the last two weeks.

“Even if the two stations were guilty as charged
by the CPC thugs, the civilised thing to do would have been to petition
the National Broadcasting Commission, citing breach of the broadcast
code on political reporting or, in the alternative, complain to the
management of these stations or the NUJ, citing the unethical conduct
against the particular journalists concerned.” He said journalists in
the state no longer know which of the factions of the CPC to deal with,
as the party is now characterised by factions, fighting, litigations
and many other unresolved issues.

“The boycott will remain enforced until such a time when members of
the party in the state have shown to the NUJ that the lives of
journalists will not be threatened by reporting of CPC activities.”