A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Sunny Onuesoke, is calling for the provision of life insurance for journalists in Nigeria. He made particular reference to journalists volatile zones.
He is also advocating for improved working condition for media personnel in the country. He insisted that journalists in conflict situations are daily exposed to danger which could have unfathomable effect on them.
Onuesoke, a former governorship aspirant in Delta state, noted that journalists are exposed to different risks in the practice of their job. He said: “They are assaulted and battered. There is possibility of kidnap and disappearance of journalists carrying out special investigations or reporting sensitive cases.”
He said: “There is equally the possibility of arson or bombing of media facilities for reporting on sensitive issues. The danger surrounding journalists while doing their work is enormous and as such they need to be protected with a life insurance policy.”
He advised that there should be urgent need to enhance the working condition of journalists in the country considering that there can be no freedom of expression or freedom of the press where journalists work under precarious conditions and are exposed to danger, poverty or fear.
Quoting Committee To Protect Journalists, Onuesoke disclosed that no fewer than 53 journalists were killed on the job in 2018, adding that 34 of whom were targeted for murder in reprisal for their work.
He said Nigeria journalists should be respected and giving free hands to ask questions most during media briefing without intimidation or harassment of any kind.
The PDP Chieftain advised all stakeholders to insure, enhance salaries, allowances, pensions and general condition of service for media professionals.