Debo Adeoye, Ibadan
The Oyo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) launched a special “NUJ PASS” for journalists covering the Covid-19 pandemics cases in the state to aid easy movement.
The launching of the newly initiated pass took place at the Press Center, Iyaganku, Ibadan on Wednesday. The event was coordinated by the state chairman of the Union, Commrade Ademola Babaolola and supported by five other journalists.
The decision that led to the initiative was necessitated as a result of various harassment reports received from journalists covering Covid-19 activities.
In a release jointly signed by the Chairman, Ademola Babalola and Secretary, Sola Oladapo and made available to journalists via Oyo NUJ WhatsApp platform, the Union called on security agencies to accord journalists carrying the card all the deserved courtesies.
“We have received several complaints of harassment by security agencies from our members covering the COVID-19 pandemics in the state.
“This necessitated the need to produce a special pass signed by the NUJ Chairman to ensure smooth discharge of their duties.
“We are using this medium to call on security agencies in the state to accord journalists carrying this pass all the deserved courtesies,” the union said.
It said that the effort was to put a stop to complaints of harassment by members in the course of discharging their duties.
The union called on the management of media organisations to adopt online editorial meetings forthwith as a measure to protect members.
The NUJ further restated its call on journalists to stop all physical interviews and adhere to the precautionary guidelines issued by health professionals.
“Our members should endeavour to observe social distancing, regular hand washing with soap or frequent use of hand sanitizers,” it said.