The International Press Centre, IPC, has frowned at the visit made by two policemen led by ASP Aminu Tanko, allegedly from the State Investigation Bureau, Sokoto who came to Grand Ibro hotel, venue of a two-day workshop on Fact-checking Elections for journalists in Sokoto, November 12 and 13, 2018.
According to reports, the policemen came to the venue of the workshop which is organized by Africa Check in partnership with the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy and Daily Trust Newspapers, at about 2.3pm on the second day of the workshop, demanding to see the organisers.
A distress message by participants at the workshop noted that it was strange and shocking that a media workshop on elections being organized for journalists who are tasked with performing key roles as stakeholders in the democratic process would be a subject of investigation by security forces.
According to sources, the policemen demanded for a copy of the workshop’s programme claiming it is because of the security in Sokoto, threatening that the workshop could be stopped if the issues of discuss at the media workshop were found to be of security concerns. David Ajikobi of AfricaCheck obliged them a copy while participants pointed out that their visit was unusual and smacked of intimidation.
The facilitators of the workshop include Ayesha Kajee, an international trainer from South Africa, Lanre Arogundade, Director of International Press Centre and David Ajikobi of AfricaCheck, in addition to about 15 broadcast, print and online journalists who were participating in the training.
The International Press Centre is miffed that this kind of unwarranted visit to a media workshop venue by security forces portend an intimidation of journalists. IPC is therefore calling on the security agency to desist from such acts, which is an aberration and can pose as a hindrance to journalists in the performance of desirable roles that the media should be performing as the 2019 elections approaches.