Friday, April 27, 2012

It's an attack on journalism, free speech - ThisDay

Scene after the blast
ThisDay issued a statement last night on the attacks. The statement, signed by Managing Director Eniola Bello, entitled: “Simultaneous attack on ThisDay Abuja, Kaduna offices…an attack on journalism and free speech”,  reads: “At about 11:05 am today, a suicide bomber drove an SUV into the premises of our Abuja office, rammed his vehicle into the building housing our printing presses, igniting a massive explosion and fuelling speculations it was a suicide bomber. About the same time, our Abuja office was under siege, the building housing our office, along with two other newspapers’ in Kaduna, came under another bomb attack.
“In Abuja, we can confirm the death of our security man, by name Christopher Sadiq. Three passers-by and the suicide bomber also died. Eight of our staff, who sustained injuries, are receiving treatment at the National Hospital. The roof of the building was blown off, the power generator burnt, the printing plant damaged.
Damaged portions of ThisDay printing press
“We regard the coordinated bombings as an attack on journalism and free speech. However, we want to assure our readers and advertisers that we remain committed to the fundamental principles on which the newspaper is founded: democracy, free enterprise and social justice.
We will not be deterred in our pursuit of truth and reason. No amount of threat or intimidation will weaken our resolve.
“While thanking all the government agencies, particularly Fire Service, VIO and FRSC, that rallied to put the situation under control and restore normalcy, we urge the security agencies to thoroughly investigate the obviously co-ordinated attacks and fish out the masterminds.”
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