" ITREALMS: Invasion @Abia centre: NUJ says Nigeria official into Police State

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Invasion @Abia centre: NUJ says Nigeria official into Police State

The leadership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Zone C, (South East) has condemned the unwarranted invasion of the Press Centre of NUJ, Abia State Council, at Umuahia on Tuesday 12th September, 2017, by alleged Nigerian army personnel, saying the act has thrown the country into a police state officially, reports ITRealms.

Vice President Zone C, Comrade Chris Isiguzo,  and Secretary, Zone C, Comrade Kenneth Ofoma in a press statement joint endorsed by them, noted that the military personnel reportedly beat up journalists at sight and destroyed their working tools such as Samsung Tablets, mobile telephones, and mini-recorders.

“The military men also destroyed furniture, documents and other property yet to be quantified,” they said.

Describing this as unprovoked attack, NUJ said its barbaric and shameful, and a throwback to dark days of military dictatorship, which the media and other well-meaning organizations and individuals fought hard to change the regime and psyche.

“The attack on the journalists on the ostensible suspicion of taking photos and/or videos of the military on a “show of strength” in a highly populated busy street, without any atom of security threat, calls to question; whether Nigeria is still operating a civil democracy or military dictatorship? Has Nigeria returned to the dark days of police state? Or is Nigeria at war?” they wondered.

NUJ also asked “if indeed the military wants to “showcase her strength”, what is wrong in the media, if at all they took pictures or video, in helping them to showcase the military power? Haven’t they been calling for media support and collaboration?”

They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the military to order, stressing that Nigeria deserves peace and development, and South East is peaceful, as there is no evidence that Governors from this zone, who are the Chief Security Officers of those domain, had made any request for military deployment.

“Even the latest United Nation’s report indicates that South East geo-political zone is the most peaceful in the country,” the Council said.

 Equally, NUJ urged the National Assembly and the International Community to weigh into this fragrant abuse of human rights, and premeditated provocation of civil disobedience that might precipitate shedding of innocent blood.

“We also call on the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff and the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigerian Army Enugu to take note of this unprofessional conducts and punish the unruly officers. They should also take immediate steps to replace damaged equipments/gadgets and compensate our colleagues manhandled. There must be rules of engagement in line with international best practices,” they appealed.

Just as the Council advised the Federal Government to adopt dialogue in handling issues of pro-Biafra agitations in the zone, which many have described as a metaphor for so many contradictions and the state of anomy in the economic and socio-political life of the country.

“All these had equally resulted in strident calls from different quarters for urgent restructuring of the country. The Federal Government cannot be impervious to the building tension, frustration and suffering of Nigerians and shouldn’t pour fuel into a gathering fire,” NUJ cautioned.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE 
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