Emmanuel Shior, the Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), on Thursday, walked out five journalists among them, the Daily Independent reporter in the state, Tor Vande-Acka, from a SEMA assignment.
The other reporters are those of the Guardian, Leadership, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and Peoples Daily.
The grouse of the SEMA boss was that the reporters exposed the ills at Mbawa Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp situated at Daudu, Guma Local Government Area of the state where eight persons lost their lives as a result of hunger and disease that hit the camp.
Reacting to the incident, the campaign organisation of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections, Emmanuel Jime, condemned the action of the SEMA boss.
In a statement signed by Tersoo Kula, Deputy Director Communication, Jime/Ode Campaign Organisation, he pointed out that the reports by the journalists were a confirmation of their earlier statement that the state government would abandon the IDPs after the elections.
Recall that on Thursday, DAILY INDEPENDENT had reported that eight persons lost their lives at the camp as result of hunger and disease.
It was further learnt that parents at the camp had resorted to giving out their under aged daughters in marriage in order to survive.
However, Daily Independent gathered that as a result of the reports, the state government, on Thursday, engaged on damage-repair by supplying relief materials including millet, maize, gari, and palm oil amongst other items at the camp.
However, the All Progressives Congress stated that, “Ortom’s harassment of journalists for saying the truth is unfortunate.”
In the statement signed by Kula, he said, “These journalists, our findings have indicated, only spoke the truth to the power that be by reporting the real situation at the IDP camp in the state.
“Let it be on record that a true journalist who knows his jobs is for the masses and downtrodden but not the establishment or authority.”
He further stated that “We learnt that on Thursday, 23rd May 2019, journalists of national dailies including, Guardian, Leadership, NAN, Peoples Daily and DAILY INDEPENDENT were walked out of a function by State Emergency Management Agency Executive Secretary, Emmanuel Shior.”
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