Delta State Police Command has given an assurance to investigate and address all cases of alleged harassment of journalists carrying out their legitimate duties in the state by some policemen.
The Police Commissioner, Mr Zanna Ibrahim gave the assurance in Asaba when the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Delta State Council Comrade Mike Ikeogwu led other executives and some members of the council on a courtesy visit to the command.
Mr Ibrahim who noted that the command had zero tolerance for impunity, harassment and corruption said men and officers must respect the human persons.
The Delta CP said, ” If anybody harasses any journalist; that means you want to create problems for me, and I can not be friendly with any policeman who does that.I have said it times without number that policemen must respect the human persons.”
”Please, I will like you to get me the inventory of such cases so that we can address them one after another, and if there is anything subsequently, let me know so that we quickly address it because as far as I am concerned, the Press, the Judiciary, the Bench, the Bar; all these, I want to be friendly as much as possible. I know that once in a while, there may be frictions but what is important is how do we manage it, Mr Ibrahim emphasized.
While urging journalists to key into the whistle blowing policy of the Federal Government to expose corruption, the Police Commissioner Ibrahim also tasked them to emphasize more on reports that will douse or cushion the effects of agitations for restructuring, resource control, state police and split, rather than heating up the polity with sensational stories.
He called for concerted efforts by all Nigerians to strengthen the unity of the country and refrain from making hate speeches.
The Delta Police Boss restated the readiness of the command to partner NUJ in its efforts to combat crimes in the state just as he implored the body in the state to come up with a position paper at a public hearing to be convened by the State House of Assembly on a proposed Executive Bill on e-surveillance, which when passed will make it a necessity for all premises whether public or private to install CCTV ; Smart Cameras to help in the fight against crimes.
”On the issue of e-surveillance, I need to tell you that the governor has just submitted a proposal to the State House of Assembly in this respect. I expect that as partners in the fight against crimes, that NUJ should make a submission so that the bill can go through and it will assist all of us,” the CP added.
The Chairman of NUJ Delta State Council Comrade Mike Ikeogwu represented by the Vice Chairman Comrade Patrick Ochei said the visit was to strengthen collaboration with the command on ways to correct the ills of the society for the betterment of all.
Comrade Ikeogwu told the CP that journalists were often attacked by policemen at the slightest provocation when accessing information, and called for actions to be taken to forestall recurrence.
”There is no reason why a journalist and a policeman should clash while carrying out their statutory functions. But this we have always witnessed, most times, police restricting journalists access to information or attacking them at the slightest provocation. We have been in office for just two months, yet we have received about five complaints of police harassment….Sir, the journalist in the state need police protection, and not harrassment”, he lamented.
The NUJ Chairman, however, lauded the efforts of the Delta State Police Command in fighting crime which according to him is yielding enormous result.
He said, ”Recently you went into partnership with Sunnycrown Technologies to introduce Community E- Surveillance with the use of Public CCTV and Intruder Alarm. These are commendable crime combative achievements coming from a highly cerebral police chief like CP Ibrahim Zanna”