The International Press Centre (IPC) has expressed great concern over allegations of threats to life of Ibanga Isine, Nigerian investigative journalist and editor of an online newspaper, Next Edition.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported how Isine went into hiding following death threats to his life over a series of reports on the conflicts in Southern Kaduna, Kaduna State.
It was gathered that many of the sources linked to him in the course of writing the reports were said to have died in controversial circumstances, a situation that compelled him to go into hiding for safety.
About three sources who have been killed revealed the shadowy role played by the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, in the intercommunal clashes which occurred in Southern Kaduna, leaving several people dead in the past year.
The journalist, who has spent about a week in hiding, told the Safety Alert Desk of the IPC, that he was forced to abandon his home after the death threats became intolerable.
He said: “I have been investigating the Southern Kaduna killings for months now, and I have just recently published the last part in a four-part series on the bloody attacks in the zone.
“In the course of the investigation, two of my sources have been attacked, one was killed along with his son three months after he said he was afraid for his life.
“Another source escaped being killed and his neighbours paid dearly when the killers didn’t find him.”
Melody Lawal, Programme Officer/Safety Alert Officer of the IPC, said the body was deeply worried about the condition of Isine and called on the Nigerian government and the security agencies to ensure he was not harmed in any way.
The media centre also advised distressed parties to pursue legal redress rather than seeking to harm the journalist over his investigative works.
“IPC enjoins anyone who may be aggrieved over the reports by the journalist to seek redress through legal channels instead of attempting to resort to extra-judicial self-help.
“IPC believes the time has come to stop attacks of journalists in Nigeria so that the country would stop being counted among dangerous zones for journalists to practise.”
The IPC called on other national, regional and international media freedom groups, as well as human rights bodies to join in the clamour for the safety of Isine and other journalists.