A civil society organization, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA) has condemned the recent attack of a Journalist working with Grace FM radio station by suspected drug peddlers within Lokoja metropolis.
In a statement signed by is Executive Director, Hamza Aliyu, INGRA said the attack has once again brought to the fore the dangerous and toxic atmosphere in the politics and security around the state, where youths fueled with the audacity that they are “untouchable” decide to malicious harm an accredited Journalist in public view for doing his job.
The statement said the organization has raised the alarm several times that Kogi State is awash with cult gangs who maim, kill and harm themselves and others with impunity and the State Government seems relaxed or incapable of bringing the situation to order.
“The situation is troubling and shows a total failure of security in a state where accolades have continuously been thrown at the government on the issue.
“We now live in perpetual fear that what you say against the state or any cult group could be you last, or at least bring you bodily harm. This is unacceptable in a democratic system. Kogi state is not a dictatorial state and we must not accept this attitude to the media and civil society.
“Only in the recent memory another media personality was arrested and jailed for stories that the “authorities” found “unpleasant”. Another popular Civil Society Activist was hounded and threaten by the Kogi State House of Assembly for publishing facts not favourable to the House.
“Kogi State must be democratic in its affairs and we must never accept a situation where having contrary opinions could be a death sentence,” the statement read.
INGRA called on security agencies and the State Government to condemn these actions and immediately arrest and prosecute those responsible for the heinous actions.