– The southeast geopolitical zone is under siege by the Nigerian military
– This is due to the activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB)
– Some journalists were however at the receiving end of the Nigerian military brutality in Abia state
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called for the prosecution of the Nigerian soldiers who assaulted journalists in Abia state.
The CPJ made the call while reacting to the Nigerian Army’s statement that its personnel who assaulted journalists at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat in Abia state, will be disciplined.
CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. They defend the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal.
The group has been been defending and fighting for press freedom in the last 35 years of its existence.
On Tuesday, September 12, some of the soldiers stationed in Umuahia, Abia state for the Operation Python Dance II assaulted journalists whom they said were filming them.
At least two journalists were reportedly attacked at the state secretariat of the (NUJ). The journalists said the soldiers smashed their mobile phones and other electronic devices during the incident, which occurred when the soldiers were allegedly trying to barricade the residence of separatist leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
In response, the army said the soldiers involved in the assault will face disciplinary actions for their “unfortunate” misconduct.
Mr Oyegoke Badamosi, a spokesperson for the Nigerian Army 14 Brigade in the state, said preliminary investigation has revealed that soldiers indeed launched aggression against the reporters who were on their legitimate duties.
“The Commander 14 Brigade and Deputy Director Army Public Relations 82 Division waded into the matter which has since been resolved amicably. In addition, the soldiers involved will face disciplinary action,” Badamosi said.
The first phase of the Operation Python Dance started on November 27, 2016 and ended on December 27, 2016.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com recently released 14 safety measures that residents of the southeast are expected to adhere to as the Nigerian military carries out the Operation Python Dance II in the region.
Watch NAIJ.com TV interview with IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer about the military invasion: