NUJ flays attack on journalists by Ebonyi lawmaker
Threatens to boycott assembly’s activities
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the attack on journalists by Ebonyi State House of Assembly member representing Afikpo South-West, Mr. Nkemka Onuma, with men suspected to be thugs at the assembly complex.
National president of NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, yesterday demanded apologies from the leadership of the assembly.
The incident happened after the screening of one of the commissioner nominees, which was fraught with irregularities, as the speaker, Francis Nwifuru, noticed that the year the nominee purportedly left primary school was not in sync with the year he started secondary school, according to his documents.
The suspected thugs reportedly assaulted Ogochukwu Anioke of The Nation newspaper, Samson Nwafor of Nigerian Pilot and Mrs. Grace Egbo of Tribune, who was pregnant.
Onuma, during the melee, threatened to prevent journalists from covering the assembly, describing them as touts.
After attacking the reporters, the thugs also held Anioke hostage inside the assembly premises, ordering the gateman to lock the gate as he made to drive out.
Isiguzo noted with shock that a House of Assembly member abandoned his legislative duty to unleash mayhem on innocent journalists.
His words: “It is totally unacceptable to us and we demand that Ebonyi State House of Assembly should not just apologise to those that were manhandled; they should also make sure that they are taken care of in the hospital because I learnt that one or two of them are already in the hospital. So, they should take care of their bills and assure us of their safety in that House of Assembly.”
Similarly, NUJ, Ebonyi council, also condemned the attack, assault and threat on the journalists.
It expressed shock that a lawmaker, alongside his thugs, attacked journalists who were at the assembly to cover screening of commissioner nominees.
Ebonyi NUJ asked the assembly to compel Onuma to tender unreserved apologies within three days; otherwise it would direct its members to boycott activities of the house.
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