The Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Wednesday launched a new pass for journalists covering the Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 in the state.
NUJ noted that it launched the pass in order to ease the movement of journalists in the state.
bioreports reported that the state Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde had earlier declared 7pm to 6am curfew in the state, as part of efforts to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.
It was, however, gathered that some overzealous security agents had been harassing and molesting some people among whom werw journalists who were listed as part of those performing special duties.
The NUJ had also raised the alarm over the reports of harassment of some citizens in the state, especially journalists.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Sunday listed journalists as those exempted from the total lockdown he declared in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states.
However, NUJ on Wednesday, said it has launched a new pass, which would serve as an identity to its members in the state.
NUJ Chairman and Secretary, Alhaji Ademola Babalola and Mr. Sola Oladapo in a statement made available to bioreports, called on security agencies in the state, to accord journalists carrying the card all the deserved courtesies.
“We have received several complaints of harassment by security agencies from our members covering the COVID-19 pandemics in the state.
“This necessitated the need to produce a special pass signed by the NUJ Chairman to ensure smooth discharge of their duties.
“We are using this medium to call on security agencies in the state to accord journalists carrying this pass all the deserved courtesies”.
The duo maintained that the effort was to put a stop to complaints of harassment by members in the course of discharging their duties.
They called on the management of media organisations to adopt online editorial meetings forthwith as a measure to protect its members.
They further restated its call on journalists to stop all physical interviews and adhere to the precautionary guidelines issued by health professionals.
“Our members should endeavour to observe social distancing, regular hand washing with soap or frequent use of hand sanitizers.”