Monday Osayande in Warri
The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Warri Correspondents chapel in Delta State, monday condemned in strong terms the unwarranted attack on the Sun Newspaper’s correspondent in Warri, Emmanuel Ogoigbe, by men of the JTF at a checkpoint in the town.
Ogoigbe was alleged to have passed information to the authorities of the Nigerian Army at the weekend over the killing of a woman in Warri to avoid a possible breakdown of law and order at a nearby location.
In a statement made available to THISDAY in Warri which was signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Chapel, Michael Ikeogwu and Akpokona Omafuaire respectively, the journalists gave the army seven days ultimatum to apologise to the union and the victim, Ogoigbe, for the unprovoked attack.
“We want to state our displeasure over the unwarranted attack on our colleague who was only carrying out his constitutional duties of collaborating with security agencies in the country to forestall the breakdown of law and order,” adding that: “We vehemently frown at the situation whereby military personnel who are meant to protect lives and property turnaround to brutalize, molest and sometime, kill the people they are meant to protect.”
The Chapel also called on the Chief of Army Staff and the Commander of 3 battalion to fish out the culprits and call them to order to forestall a re-occurrence of the act.
Chairman, Delta State Council of the NUJ, Norbert Chiazor, also condemned the attack and described it as unacceptable for whatever reason, noting that the era of military brutalization of journalists were over.
Chiazor said: “We want to make it clear that we are no longer in a military era where soldiers maim and kill innocent citizens at will. The NUJ will no longer stand and fold its hands and watch the military maim and kill the people they have sworn to protect.”
Recently, he Sun Newspaper Correspondent in Warri, Ogoigbe, was allegedly brutalized and forced to swim in a stagnant drainage water by one Staff Sergeant O. Joseph and his colleagues on a check point in Okoribi Quarters Off Uti street, Effurun, for passing information of a possible breakdown of law and order.
Ogoigbe has been discharged from a private clinic where he was admitted for proper medical care over pains and psychological trauma he was made to pass through in the hands of the overzealous military men.