The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today has joined its African regional organization the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) to vigorously condemn the murder of a journalist in Nigeria.
According to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) an IFJ/FAJ affiliate, journalist Toyin Ayinla, deputy Editor of Saturday Newswatch newspaper died in Lagos. Toyin was shot and fatally wounded in the night of Friday, January 31, 2014, by armed robbers in Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
"We mourn our colleague and send our sincere condolences to his family, coworkers and to all the media fraternity in Nigeria," said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa director. "Authorities in Nigeria must quickly investigate this murder and bring the perpetrators to book", Baglo added.
The NUJ said this murder is another sad reminder of the vulnerability of media professionals and this further heightens its concern for the safety of journalists. Condemning the continued killing of journalists in Nigeria, NUJ said there is no doubt that Toyin and many other colleagues died because the Nigerian system over the years had failed to protect its citizens.
"The loss of Toyin has again deprived the media of one of its illustrious journalists and it is very important to call on the Federal Government to take measures for effective protection of journalists," Mohamed Garba, president of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) said.
"Journalists, as the conscience of the Nation cannot be subjected to constant fear and intimidation by such impunity. While we condole with the media family, we pray to God to grant the deceased eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the loss", Garba added.
IFJ and FAJ have since last year raised concerns over the security of journalists in Nigeria following the killing on 12 January 2013 of the journalist Ikechukwu Udendu, editor of Anambra News, a monthly newspaper, who was shot dead by unknown persons.
On March 21 last year, Olubunmi Oke, a reporter and presenter with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), her baby and maid were kidnapped by four men who blocked her car as she was leaving her office in Akure, the capital of Ondo state (South West). Her baby and maid were released later while the car was found in another town. She was also released later. The reason of the kidnapping was unknown.
IFJ and FAJ have documented that various forms of attacks against journalists have taken place, not a single case has been satisfactorily investigated and persecuted by the security personnel.
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The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries
FAJ represents more than 50.000 journalists in 40 countries in Africa