Press Freedom Violations: Report Ranks Nigeria Second Worst In West Africa

June 1st, 2022
Press Freedom Violations: Report Ranks Nigeria Second Worst In West Africa

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A regional quarterly report on Freedom of Expression (FOE) by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), has shown that Nigeria recorded 5 cases of freedom of expression violations.

This puts Nigeria in second place behind Ghana as the most repressive country in West Africa during the first quarter (Q1) of 2022.

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The report which covers January-March 2022, showed that Nigeria recorded three physical attacks on journalists and two attacks on media houses. These violations were classified under Arrest/Detention and Seizure/Destruction of property.

Also, a report jointly produced by the MFWA and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in 2021 showed that Nigeria recorded over 300 press freedom and freedom of expression violations during the first four years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
 
It is worrisome how Nigeria and the troubled Guinea Bissau found themselves in the same position on violation of freedom of expression, even without a war going on in the country.
 
Meanwhile, Ghana recorded 11 violations to rank first as the West African country with the highest cases of press freedom and freedom of expression violations during the period under review.
 
Journalism in Nigeria and many other West African countries is becoming more toxic on a daily basis as journalists are frequently being attacked by security agencies including police, and the military.
 
On October 20, 2020, during the nationwide #EndSARS protest in Nigeria, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and military officers physically assaulted and damaged the gadgets of journalists in Lagos, Abuja and some parts of the country.
 
Similarly, on October 20, 2021, journalists, including one Daily Post correspondent, Sikiru Obarayese, were physically assaulted at the Lekki Toll Gate by the police.

Earlier today (Tuesday), police officers from Housing Estate Police Station, Ring Road, in Osun state opened fire on peaceful protesters in Osogbo, Osun State capital, shooting a Nigerian journalist working with The Nation Newspaper, Toba Adedeji.

Adedeji, alongside other journalists, was covering a peaceful protest by demonstrators who were mourning the death of their friend, Abiola Afolabi,
Afolabi was shot by policemen at his friend’s house on Monday, April 4, 2022.

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Saharareporters, New York

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