Nigerian Police

EU Report Exposes Nigerian Police Neglect, Targets Journalists

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According to the European Union (EU), the Nigerian police turned a blind eye to the actions of political thugs during the 2023 general elections while focusing their attention on journalists who were documenting evidence of violence. The EU’s final report, titled “Election Observation Mission Nigeria 2023,” which was released on Tuesday, reveals these concerning findings.

The EU report highlights the failure of law enforcement agencies to hold accountable those who attacked, intimidated, harassed, or obstructed journalists both before, during, and after the election days. In plain sight of the police, multiple incidents of violence against the media were confirmed by EU EOM observers. Shockingly, instead of apprehending the attackers, the police detained journalists who were diligently documenting irregularities. This blatant disregard for media practitioners underscores the absence of proper measures for their protection.

One notable incident involved Musiliu ‘MC Oluomo’ Akinsanya, who, in a viral video on March 16, issued threats against Igbos who would not vote for his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). As a grim consequence of MC Oluomo’s threats, APC thugs freely roamed the streets of Lagos, intimidating individuals who intended to vote against the APC, as reported by the Peoples Gazette.

In addition to highlighting the negligence towards journalists, the EU report also challenges the notion that the Nigerian 2023 elections were free and fair. The elections were marred by widespread violence and bloodshed, with a staggering 74 individuals losing their lives in 101 violent incidents.

The EU’s findings shed light on the urgent need for Nigerian law enforcement agencies to prioritize the safety and protection of journalists. Without an effective framework in place to address the attacks on media practitioners, the democratic process remains at risk of manipulation and corruption.

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It is crucial for the Nigerian government to acknowledge and address the shortcomings identified in the EU report. The promotion of a safe and secure environment for journalists to operate in is essential to ensure transparent and credible elections in the future.

In conclusion, the EU report’s revelations regarding the negligence of the Nigerian police towards political thugs and their focus on targeting journalists underscore the challenges faced during the 2023 elections. The high level of violence and loss of life further emphasize the urgent need for reforms to safeguard the democratic process and protect the rights of the media.

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