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Yes! Daily journalists are killed for re-examining the conscience of the populace in the society where he resides. The razzmatazz and pecks of belonging to the profession is attractive to the extent that quacks have infiltrated the noble profession.
These quacks in search of daily meal are the havoc of the real practitioners today but the greatest enemy are haters of good governance and egalitarian society.
They look for ways to hack down journalists for daring to report the truth, unknown to them that for a loss of a journalists, ten radical others emerge.
Journalism has taken new shapes and sides’ sequel to the emerging trend of Citizen Journalism where everybody with a good gadget becomes participatory in shaping what the news is and what it is not.
But are the citizen journalists in danger? They may be or may be not but the conventional journalists and newsmen die for other people’s course. Against the variety of ethics and standard in the profession primarily hinged on objectivity, the advent of social media is a corrosion on that.  For the real practitioners and true members of the fourth estate, nothing is fearful than truth and hence the truth remains sacrosanct in the practice, and facts are sacred no matter the nozzle on our forehead. The society must be informed at our own risk.
Last Friday, a Mexican Journalist, photojournalist Wayne Barrett was executed and his only legacy but sin to the society was standing by the truth and exposing evil and corruption.
According to Wikipedia, as of November 2011, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 887 journalists have been killed worldwide since 1992 by murder (71%), crossfire or combat (17%), or on dangerous assignment (11%). And 7 years after the survey more things are happening.
It said that the “ten deadliest countries” for journalists since 1992 have been Iraq (230 deaths), Philippines (109), Russia (77), Colombia (76), Mexico (69), Algeria (61), Pakistan (59), India (49), Somalia (45), Brazil (31) and Sri Lanka (30).
It reports further that as of 1st December, 2010, 145 journalists were jailed worldwide for journalistic activities. 10 countries with high number of imprisoned journalists are Turkey (95), China (34), Iran (34), Eritrea (17), Burma (13), Uzbekistan (six), Vietnam (five), Cuba (four), Ethiopia (four), and Sudan (three).

Journalists exposed to danger physically and psychologically and often you see traumatised journalists over reacting on issues.
In Newseum in Washington, D.C. housing Journalists Memorial, there are lists of over 2,100 journalists from around the world who were killed in the line of duty.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) confirmed 93 journalists were killed worldwide.
Aside targeted attacks, bomb blasts and caught in cross fire, 29 journalists died in plane crashes in Colombia and Russia.
Of all these alarming number, Justice has been served for just four percent of journalists killed or incarcerated worldwide.
Looking at the figures regionally, the Middle East was deadliest with 30 killings, followed by Asia-Pacific with 28, Latin America with 24, Africa with 8 and Europe with 3, according to the Watchdog report.
And Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, has this to say: “There is, therefore, urgency in pressing governments to investigate all forms of violence, including killings and disappearances, in a speedy and credible manner to protect the physical integrity and professional independence of journalists.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), based in New York, raised alarm in a report earlier in December that impunity fostered acts of self-censorship is making many journalists set to withdraw from practice completely while many were being intimidated into exile.
The number of journalists who have been killed in Syria since the war began in 2011 is now at least 107 and Five journalists were killed in a coordinated suicide bombing attack at a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia recently.
And in Nigeria, the story is legion from Dele Giwa’s letter bomb in News Watch to murder of Channels Television Enenche Akogwu  to Light Bearer’s Sunday Gyang Bwede and Nathan S. Dabak among others.
Then many have been embarrassed and intimidated with arrests and mass beating by security officials like Dapo Olorunyomi, publisher of Premium Times, and Evelyn Okakwu, judiciary reporter were harassed by DSS and plainclothes police officers who raided the website’s office in the capital Abuja and arrested the two on defamation charges.
At least 11 journalists, bloggers, and media support staff were detained across the country recently.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has continuously asked officials of government and security agents to stop harassing journalists and media workers in Nigeria.

According to CPJ West Africa Representative Peter Nkanga: “The impunity with which Nigerian security forces have recently attacked the press is reminiscent of Nigeria’s darkest days of military rule.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to reverse this alarming slide and let journalists do their jobs without fear of reprisal.”

On September 21, military soldiers and officers of the State Security Service, arrested 10 journalists and media workers from the independent news website Watchdog Media News at the Douban Hotel in Benin, Edo state. They were “brutalised,” and were arrested wearing only their underwear.
Taiye Garrick, the editor of Watchdog Media, told CPJ that witnesses said the crew were beaten with barbed wire and had cold water poured on their bodies before they were arrested.
Those arrested include: production manager Tony Abulu; reporters Richard Hasley, Opara Uche, and Handy Romeo Eze; video editor Kelvin Toryila; information technology specialists Lanre Ogunleye, Balogun Ehigie, and Kenneth Danpome; a logistics manager identified only as Mathew; and driver Joe Epi.

In Katsina state on September 19, 2016 police arrested Jamil Mabai — the publisher of Cliqq Magazine and a columnist with Katsina Reporters in Kaduna after Mabai on September 6 took to social media to criticize Aminu Masari, the governor of Katsina State, over the government’s distribution of 3,000 coffins to mosques while it was unable to pay civil servants their salaries, according to news reports.

Katsina Police Commissioner Usman Abdullahi said that Mabai was arrested following the state government’s complaint over his tweets, and justified Mabai’s arrest by saying “We had to invite him to assist the police.”
Bloggers Bashir Dauda and Umar Faruq were detained on September 19 and arraigned September 22 on charges of writing about Mabai’s story with the “intent to cause civil disturbance” and “to expose governor Masari to public ridicule”.
DSS on September 6 arrested Emenike Iroegbu, owner of Abia Facts website, from his home in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, on suspicion of libelling the governor of Abia state.
Nigerian Army , on August 14, 2016 through its military spokesman threatened freelance journalist Ahmad Salkida with terrorism charges if he does not provide information he gained in the course of reporting on the militant group.

DSS arrested Jones Abiri, the publisher of the Weekly Source tabloid newspaper, from his offices in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, on July 21, 2016.
The arrests are legion whether the journalist is confirmed by Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) or not, the threat and injury to one in the name of our profession should be a concern to real professionals. We can sanitize our profession, but we can’t restore a lost soul no matter what we write, so let the war start now to enlighten the society against killing journalists on sacrosanct duty.
Caution is the watchword but we shall not allow our duties as moral barometer in the society die for the fear of dying instead. For a conscienceless society, the journalist must die……
You remember that a gunman, operating on motorcycle shot then Daily Editor of The Sun Newspaper, but now Deputy Managing Director/ Deputy Editor in Chief, Mr. Steve Nwosu. He was robbed at Mazamaza, Mile 2 area of Lagos, his vehicle intercepted even as the robbers fired several shots into the air , robbed him. He was this 2017 robbed again but his tale appears he was even kidnapped but it was not clear.

Then think of Dimgba Igwe, veteran journalist of repute and Vice Chairman of The Sun Publishing Limited, who was killed by an unknown driver while jogging in his Okota, Lagos neighbourhood at 58years old.

Mr Igwe passed at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) of injuries suffered from a hit-and-run driver and left a wife and four children.

In Anambra, one Ikechukwu Udendu, said to be an Editor of Anambra News, a monthly newspaper based in Onitsha, Anambra state, was slain by gunmen believed to be hired assassins at the Okay Okay restaurant at Afor Nkpor where his lifeless body was found. The deceased was returning from Onitsha to his country home, Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area Saturday night when the incident allegedly happened.

And for those who suddenly died of one brief ailment or the other like former NUJ state chairman in Anambra state, Tochukwu Udoji-Omelu and former eclectic state secretary, Princess Ifeoma Anumba,  and veteran journalist, Alhaji Alade Odunewu to mention but a few.

As well tragic auto crash in Osun State around Ilesa in Osun State killed the national financial Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State council, Mr. Adolphus Okonkwo,Mrs. Kafayat Odunsi,of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) in Lagos; and Tunde Ojenike, chairman of Radio Nigeria Chapel Ibadan Oyo state. They were all returning from Abuja where they had gone to attend a meeting of the NUJ at the national level.

A member of the Lagos State Executive Council of the union, Mr. Sylva Okereke, was said to be on a danger list and has not recovered full from that accident.

There was an accident where 9 journalists, lost their lives in a car crash in Enugu State, so said the spokesman for the Enugu State Police Command, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, on Monday, November 7, at Ninth Mile Corner, on the Enugu-Nsukka Expressway, as they were travelling in a Nissan bus with registration number ‘NUJ 3’. There were so many other crashes involving journalists daily in their quest to gather news.

Tope Kuteyi of Channels television was kidnapped at Owerre and ransom of N15M was demanded by his abductors. He is from Akure , Ondo state.

By July 13th, 2010 , some members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) were kidnapped in Aba, Abia State while returning from a meeting of the Executive Committee in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. They were chairman of the Lagos State Council of the NUJ, Alhaji Wahab Alabi Oba; the assistant secretary of the council, Mr. Sylvester Okereke; the secretary of Zone ‘G’ of NUJ, Mr. Adolphus Okonkwo, a journalist, Shola Oyeyepo, and a driver, Mr. Yakini Azazi. The kidnappers are reportedly demanded N250 million for the release of the journalists.
Vanguard columnist Donu Kogbara was kidnapped August 30th 2015 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. She was robbed and abducted. She has worked worked for The SundayTimes, the BBC, Channel 4 and The Daily Mail. She was kidnapped from her home by gunmen.

In Katsina state on September 19, 2016 police arrested Jamil Mabai — the publisher of Cliqq Magazine and a columnist with Katsina Reporters in Kaduna after Mabai on September 6 took to social media to criticize Aminu Masari, the governor of Katsina State, over the government’s distribution of 3,000 coffins to mosques while it was unable to pay civil servants their salaries, according to news reports.

Katsina Police Commissioner Usman Abdullahi said that Mabai was arrested following the state government’s complaint over his tweets, and justified Mabai’s arrest by saying “We had to invite him to assist the police.”
Bloggers Bashir Dauda and Umar Faruq were detained on September 19 and arraigned September 22 on charges of writing about Mabai’s story with the “intent to cause civil disturbance” and “to expose governor Masari to public ridicule”.
DSS on September 6 arrested Emenike Iroegbu, owner of Abia Facts website, from his home in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, on suspicion of libelling the governor of Abia state.
Nigerian Army , on August 14, 2016 through its military spokesman threatened freelance journalist Ahmad Salkida with terrorism charges if he does not provide information he gained in the course of reporting on the militant group.

DSS arrested Jones Abiri, the publisher of the Weekly Source tabloid newspaper, from his offices in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, on July 21, 2016. A Radio Journalist, Iyuadoo Tor-Agbidye, was kidnapped at her home in Makurdi. He is married to Achim Tor-Agbidye, a Zonal Manager of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Makurdi, probably that was the attraction.

As it is in Nigeria, it is abroad hence three Spanish journalists went missing last July in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo according to statement released by the Spanish government.  To buttress how important journalism is , Acting Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria was on hand to meet Antonio Pampliega, Jose Manuel Lopez and Angel Sastre at the at the Torrejon de Ardoz airbase in Madrid, where they had arrived on a flight from Turkey.
They had been held in Syria since July 2015. James Foley disappeared in Syria in 2012 as  a freelance journalist covering the war in Syria for GlobalPost and Agence France-Presse. And in 2011, Foley, freelancing for the GlobalPost in Libya, was captured with three other journalists when the group came under fire from forces loyal to the Gaddafi regime. Anton Harmmerl, a South African photographer, was killed in the attack; Foley and the other two were captured and interrogated, and one was accused on Libyan state television of being an American spy.
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped in Pakistan in 2002. In 2008, New York Times reporter David Rohde was held for 8 months after he was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, was kidnapped by Pakistani militants in 2002 and accused of being a spy,  and nine days after his capture, Pearl was beheaded. They were abducted for US to release ransom worth several millions of dollars they demanded.
But in Nigeria what was the attraction, if one must ask?
So many journalists have been beaten up by overzealous security agents especially the Nigerian Police even with their valid Identity cards and camaraderie exhibited by journalists. The Nigerian Army  used to be in this inglorious acts of rough handling journalists or beating them until recently there is robust Army/media relations across board.
Political office holders who perceive the journalist as trying to expose him or her even threatens to deal with the journalist and sometimes carry out their threat.

The beatings of journalists as well as arrests were legion. Then maiming and outright killing of media practitioners are uncountable whether the journalist is confirmed by Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) or not, the threat and injury to one in the name of our profession should be a concern to real professionals.

We can sanitize our profession from the clutches of quacks if we desire, but we can’t restore a lost soul no matter what we write, so let the war and fight by whatever legal means to stop intimidation, harassment , arrests and killing of journalists to start now by all manner of enlightenment to the society. The battle line should be drawn because anybody killed in the name of pen and paper profession is a minus to the profession. Journalists are on sacrosanct duty and should be seen so by friends and foe of the profession.
Caution is the watchword but we shall not allow our duties as moral barometer in the society die for the fear of dying instead.
And for a conscienceless society, the journalist must die…….

Concluded
Cornucopia is written by  Odogwu Emeka Odogwu. Odogwu is an Editor, writer, journalist, blogger, publisher and commentator on National Issues. He is based in Awka Anambra state and could be reached on 08060750240 e mail: odogwuchampionawka@yahoo.co.uk