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Newspaper vendors protest over colleagues’ arrest in Imo

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Urge FG to call security operatives to order
Scores of newspaper vendors in Imo State, yesterday, besieged the office of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, located on Port Harcourt Road Secretariat, Owerri, capital of Imo State.

Security operatives, said to be from the Intelligence Response Ream (IRT), had early in the morning swooped on the vendors who had gathered at No. 5, Rotibi Street, to collect local and national newspapers being distributed by the distributors and sales representatives when the security men swooped on them, whisking about five to unknown destination.

This is coming on the heels of the arrest of the Imo Sales Representative of The Telegraph, Chuks Ugwuibe, at Banana Junction, Orlu, on Tuesday.

As at the time of filing this report, Ugwuibe is still being detained by the security men without any room for communication with members of his family.

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Ugwuibe was last Saturday brought to his office at No. 5, Rotibi Street in company of the security operatives, barring him from talking with his colleagues.

MEANWHILE, the Imo State Chairman of the Newspaper Sales Representatives, Udofua Alex Imoh, told The Guardian, yesterday, that the entire vendors were unaware why the alleged mass arrest/clamp down on the vendors who are on essential services to the public.

“We cannot say why we are being hunted by the security operatives in the state. We are simply selling newspapers for information published. We should not be intimidated. We want the Federal Government to wade in and caution the security men,” Imoh said.

The Guardian later gathered that four out of the five arrested vendors/representatives were later released.

The Imo State Command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Ikeokwu, could not be reached at the time of filing this report.

In the meantime, vendors in the state have vowed to commence strike today to stop incessant harassment by the security operatives in the state.

Imoh threatened that it was the only option until their ordeal is halted.

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