The National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chief Chris Isiguzo has debunked a trending media report alleging that 44 journalists in Nigeria were brutally killed in 2021 while scores were declared missing.
Reacting to the report credited to him, Isiguzo said that the reports were designed to discredit the leadership of the Union.
According to a statement personally signed by the Union’s President, the perpetrators, out of mischief, fabricated the report to distort the integrity of the leadership of the NUJ.
“The attention of the leadership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has been drawn to a sensational news item claiming that last year was a bad one for Nigerian journalists as 44 of them were brutally murdered.
“This report is completely misleading. There was no time I said that 44 Nigerian journalists were killed in 2021, rather the UN in their statement on the 2021 International Day to end Impunity for Crimes against Journalists said 44 journalists had so far been killed globally as at November 2021. That was global figure, certainly not Nigeria.
“I’ve read this story in some online portals as well as Leadership Newspaper today. It is not only misleading but mischievous.
“Otherwise, why would a speech allegedly made during the NEC/Security Summit of NAWOJ held in Lafia, Nasarawa State since last year suddenly enjoy media blitz in January.
“Again, this is the handiwork of those who have evil and devilish intentions.
“For the records, at no time did I or NUJ state that 44 Nigerian Journalists were killed in 2021”, the statement said.
The NUJ Boss, therefore, advised the public to ignore and disregard the fake news designed to confuse and put the name of NUJ in disrepute.
It will be recalled that Nigeria joins rest of the world to mark 2021 International Day to End the Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists on Tuesday 3 of November, 2021, where the European Union (EU) revealed that 44 journalists killed in 2021.
The EU Delegation Representative, Wynyfred Egbuson had said: “UNESCO has reported an increasing number of attacks and threats against journalists. 44 journalists have so far been killed in 2021, many more are attacked, unlawfully imprisoned, or missing leaving their families awaiting news of their faith, sometimes for years”.