Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has warned police officers and other security agents on enforcement duty of curfew in the state not to disturb the activities of media organizations as they are on essential duty.
Odumosu said newsmen in Lagos are part of essential services providers, so they are not affected by the curfew in the state.
Police public relations officer in the state, Bala Elkana, said that policemen and journalists are partners in progress.
According to Elkana: “The attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to insinuations in some quarters that journalists are not part of the essential duties personnel allowed to drive or move around during the curfew in the state.
“The Command wishes to state clearly that journalists have significant roles to play as explained by the Federal Government that journalists are part of the essential workers in combating the spread of coronavirus.
“The Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has on several occasions, stated that he never mentioned journalists as not being part of the essential duty workers.
“It would be recalled that the CP, during the odd hours, had paved way for journalists trapped in the traffic in the state.
“Odumosu had also cleared some newspapers circulation vans which were held up in the traffic as a result of the curfew in the state. The newspaper agents were immediately cleared as part of essential duty workers thus posing the question as to why a journalist would not be cleared as essential duty.
“In this period when the COVID-19 pandemic rages, information via the fourth estate of the realm is essential, as the public needs to be reached with relevant and timely information. This makes the role of journalists key in the fight to overcome this pandemic ravaging the whole world.
“The command wishes to state unequivocally that every journalist with a valid identity card is certified to move and discharge his or her duty as an essential duty officer.
“All policemen and security agents are hereby instructed to cooperate with and accord journalists and other essential duty workers such as medical personnel, oil and gas personnel and key banking sector workers etc, the right to free movement without delay.”