The IPI global press freedom network calls on political figures in Nigeria to respect press freedom and ensure that journalists can work freely and safely during the run-up to the general elections in February 2023. 

On November 16, an aide to Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor and who is the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, verbally threatened and physically assaulted Kehinde Olatunji, a journalist with the Nigerian newspaper The Guardian.

Two weeks earlier, on November 1, 2022, the majority leader in Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Alhassan Doguwa, assaulted Malam Abdullahi Yakubu, a journalist working with the Leadership newspaper in Kano, the capital city of Kano State in the northern part of Nigeria. 

These recent attacks are particularly concerning in light of a pattern of attacks on journalists covering political activities that IPI reported on last May. At least 15 journalists were assaulted in various incidents in the context of the primary and election campaigns across the country around that time.

“Political leaders and candidates in Nigeria must respect the right of journalists to cover political campaigns and elections freely and safely”, IPI Director of Advocacy Amy Brouillette said. “We call on all political figures in the country to respect freedom of the press, which is essential in democratic elections.”