The assault on Mr. Laolu Harolds, Assistant Editor, Nigerian Tribune, on Tuesday, by some security operatives in Ibadan, Oyo State, has been condemned by members of the League of Veteran Journalists, Oyo State.
In a statement signed by the League’s Chairman, Alhaji Kola Animasaun; General Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Sola Osotoye, the league submitted that the assault “was a gross violation of Mr. Harolds’ human rights.”
The league added that the circumstance of the attack on Harold makes the action of the soldiers who attacked him “totally inexcusable, as it is also unacceptable.”
The veteran journalists stated that even if they suspected him of any wrongdoing, they should arrest him and not in any way attack him physically to the point of wounding him.
“To us, the assault is unacceptable and inexcusable on many grounds. First, there is no reason whatsoever a person should be beaten to the point of becoming a casualty patient in a hospital. Even a proven criminal should be arrested and handed over to the police – not beaten.
“Harolds is not a criminal. He is a journalist carrying out his lawful duty. The attack on him is another indication of how increasingly dangerous the practice of journalism is becoming in Nigeria. We sincerely believe that government has a sacred responsibility to put a stop to this. It has a duty to ensure that every citizen can go about his lawful duty without molestation.
“We call on the General Officer Commanding in Ibadan to ensure that the soldiers are fished out and be made to face the law.
“There should be no shielding of any culprit. Oyo State government and the Army authorities should start with this Laolu Harolds’ case. We are watching,” the league said.