Police compensate assaulted AIT reporter, urges Bauchi NUJ to lift ban on coverage

The Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Sylvester Abiodun Alabi, on Thursday fulfilled his promise to compensate a reporter of the African Independent Television (AIT), Bauchi, Damina Yusuf, who was assaulted by some operatives attached to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in the state while on official duty about three weeks ago.

Yusuf was attacked by the RRS operatives while covering a protest by the students of the Bauchi State College of Agriculture, Yelwa, in Bauchi metropolis and in the process got wounded by the policemen, lost his equipment and personal belongings and had to be treated at a hospital in the state capital.

Apart from promptly condemning the attack, the Bauchi State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) directed its members to immediately boycott activities of the command with a view to giving it a total media blackout.

CP Abiodun, however, paid a sympathetic visit to the NUJ secretariat to apologise over the incident and also hold discussions with the leadership of the union, promising to compensate the victim.

Fulfilling the promise on Thursday at the state police command headquarters in Bauchi, CP Alabi presented a new laptop computer; two smart phones and a camera lost by the AIT reporter during the ugly incident.

While commending the NUJ leadership in the state for calling off a planned street protest by its members against police brutality after he held a discussion with them, the state police boss pleaded for the lifting of the ban placed on the coverage of police activities in the state.

This, according to Alabi, was to enable the members of the public to know about police operations in the state.

He assured NUJ of the police readiness to work harmoniously with journalists in the best interest of the people of the state.

Responding, the state NUJ chairman, Comrade Umar Sa’idu, commended Alabi for his concern for Yusuf’s plight and his promptness in fulfilling his earlier pledge to give compensation to the reporter.

Reacting to Alabi’s plea on lifting the ban placed on police coverage, Sa’idu informed that a meeting of the state executive council of the union would soon be convened to review the ban.

Bauchi NUJ blacklists police over brutal attack on journalist