The International Press Centre (IPC) is advocating for journalists covering the 2023 elections to wear bulletproof vests.
This is according to Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director of the IPC, who spoke during the presentation of the results of the organization’s analysis of trends in election coverage in 2023.
The IPC chief stated at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday that journalists are victims of election violence, adding that 250 journalists were attacked during the 2019 elections.
“I don’t know whether that would be a violation of the Police Act and I don’t know if it is allowed. But you see, we need to have this conversation with them,” he said.
“Bulletproof, why not, especially for cameramen? If the police can give us bulletproof once we are accredited, we will be happy about that. But beyond that what we are saying is that on election day, know that your own life matters.
“One thing is that as journalists, we must be ethical, professional and another thing is for a conducive environment to be provided for us. And that’s why I talked about the need for political parties and government to come together and ensure that we are protected as safety matters.
“Though no journalist was killed on election day in 2019, 250 journalists were molested across the country including some of them who were accredited, particularly by overzealous law enforcement agencies.
“So, we’re using this occasion to draw the attention of INEC, governments, security agencies, and their own political parties to their own responsibilities if they want us to cover these elections effectively.”
He called for security to be attached to journalists covering this year’s exercise and urged security agencies to protect media professionals to avoid a repeat of the 2019 incident.