The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) today have condemned in the strongest terms the attacks against the premises of ThisDay newspaper in Abuja the capital, and a Media house in Kaduna, northern Nigeria.
“We strongly condemn these awful attacks on the media and press freedom in Nigeria. It is unacceptable and there can be no justifiable reason for any group of individuals to attack media houses and kill innocent people. We urge the Federal government to end violent attacks against journalists and media houses and address the deteriorating safety and security situation of journalists in Nigeria”, said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President.
According to Nigeria National Union of Journalists (NUJ) a FAJ member and IFJ affiliate, two suicide car bombers targeted today offices of Nigerian newspaper This Day in Abuja and a Media house in Kaduna. The country is facing a spark of violence on which media professionals have been victims.
According to AFP the suicide attacks killed at least six people in these first such strikes against the country's media houses. The attack in the capital Abuja saw a suicide bomber drive into the back of the building belonging to ThisDay, one of the country's most prominent and influential, after security guards allowed him into the gate.
Three people were killed, including the bomber and the two security guards, while five support staff were wounded at the privately-owned paper, officials said. In Kaduna, one of the main cities in the north, a bomb went off outside a complex housing a number of newspaper offices, including for ThisDay. The attacker then drove his car onto the premises, which later exploded.
In Kaduna, witnesses reported a chaotic scene where the attacker left a bomb outside a complex housing newspaper offices, then drove his car onto the premises before leaving the scene. The bomb outside the premises exploded, while the car later detonated. A local emergency agency spokesman reported at least three dead.
The printing office and the newsroom were specially targeted. At least three persons were killed, but it has not been yet reported either they are journalists or not.
“We are deeply horrified by these attacks. We express our strong solidarity to our Nigerian colleagues. The attacks show that media freedom is under serious assault from new actors like religious terrorists. We call for immediate investigation so as to clearly identify responsible”, said Omar Faruk Osman President of Federation of African Journalists (FAJ).
No organization has claimed responsibility for the blasts, but the radical sect known as Boko Haram has been carrying out attacks in Nigeria. There have been threats by the Islamist group Boko Haram against news media outlets, saying they were being used by authorities to publish stories against Boko Haram.
For more information contact the IFJ on +221 33 867 95 86/87
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries