Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has banned correspondents of The Solar Newspaper, Chijioke Agwu, and Vanguard Newspaper, Peter Okutu, from coming into the Authorities Home or any authorities facility within the state.
Umahi, on Wednesday in a stay broadcast, declared that Ebonyi individuals had been very indignant with the press and will “unleash mayhem” on them.
He expressed his displeasure with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), for failing to self-discipline their members.
The governor earlier ordered the arrest of Agwu over a report he did on the Lassa Fever outbreak within the state.
Inside 72 hours, Okutu was arrested on the orders of Ohaukwu LGA Chairman, Clement Odah, over a report on the alleged army invasion of Umuogodoakpu-Ngbo group within the council space.
Agwu and Okutu had been later launched after condemnations.
Umahi mentioned: “I need to say that I’m very displeased with the president and management of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and I’m going to grab their allowances for 2 months as a result of they’ve did not self-discipline their members.
“Ebonyi State is not a dumping floor. Solely the opposite day, Chijioke Agwu (referring to The Solar Correspondent) wrote that Lassa Fever is killing Ebonyi individuals in droves and (a) few days again, Mr. Peter Okutu of Vanguard did his personal.
“Okutu is keen on degrading Ebonyi State, and I don’t know why my officers have allowed him to proceed to do this, as a result of he’s not from Ebonyi State. I need to ban him for all times with Chijioke Agwu. I don’t need to see them wherever in any Authorities facility.
We’re not begging you to present us good reviews, as a result of the one individual that offers good or dangerous reviews is God. We’re all accountable to him. In the event you assume that Ebonyi State is a dumping floor, strive it once more.
“In the event you assume you may have the pen, we’ve the koboko. Let’s go away the court docket alone. Ebonyi persons are very indignant with the press and let me warn that I received’t have the ability to management them or know once they unleash mayhem on you, in the event you proceed to jot down to create panic within the state.
“I need you to jot down it that manner, that I mentioned, press in Ebonyi is attempting to create one other COVID that’s extra harmful and that’s to create panic in our individuals. The opposite one wrote that cholera has killed 20 individuals in Ohaukwu. In the event you strive it once more, I’ll not know when Ebonyians could react. That is necessary for the NUJ to know.
If you’re an Ebonyi man or stay in Ebonyi and also you don’t really feel our pains, it’s a disgrace. Possibly, the press individuals declare they’re untouchable. I’ve reported to the Nationwide President of NUJ, I’ve reported to (the) State management of NUJ and I’ve reported to the general public. Now, the die is solid. Could God save us, on this time,” he mentioned.
Organisations have condemned the threats and arrests.
The Worldwide Press Centre (IPC) known as the focusing on of pressmen as government lawlessness.
Its Govt Director, Lanre Arogundade, mentioned: “Arresting a journalist and getting him detained over a narrative isn’t a suitable technique of looking for such redress and the act of Mr Odah is unacceptable.
“Coming after an identical arrest and detention of The Solar newspaper reporter, Agwu Chijioke, on the orders of the State Governor, David Umahi, who additionally featured prominently within the ordeal of Mr. Okutu, IPC is nervous that the state authorities is quick turning into infamous for its serial violation of the rights of journalists.”
In the meantime, the Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Mission (SERAP) has issued an ultimatum to Umahi.
Its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, known as the ban on the journalists a blatant violation of the appropriate to freedom of expression and media freedom as assured by the Nigerian Structure.
“We are going to pursue applicable authorized motion nationally and internationally in opposition to Ebonyi State authorities if this illegality isn’t reversed inside 48 hours of the publication of this assertion”, the physique warned.
Umahi’s motion and threats are additional affirmation that Nigerian journalists work underneath hostile circumstances.
They’re routinely arrested, attacked and threatened by authorities officers, politicians, highly effective residents and their loyalists.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s opinion, they do not reflect the views of the Publisher of NEWS 4 NAIJA. Please report any fake news , misinformation or defamatory statements to [email protected]
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