Osun State Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has condemned attack on correspondent of Daily Trust newspaper in the state, Hameed Oyegbade while covering local government election on Saturday, 15th of October at 1:37pm.
The incidence occurred at the election collation center located within the premises of Osogbo South West LCDA, Awosuru in Osogbo where some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) prevented journalists from covering the proceedings.
In a statement signed by the Secretary, NUJ Correspondents’Chapel, Lateef Dada condemned the incident.
Those journalists that covered the election within Osogbo metropolis had gone to the collation centre to monitor the goings-on. But some party members stopped journalists that wanted to go into the promises of the LCDA secretariat from accessing the venue.
Later, some overzealous party members attacked Oyegbade, who had managed to sneak into the centre and was recording videos for his report. The attackers threatened to destroy his (Oyegbade) tools and kill him. The timely intervention of some council officials at the scene prevented the members from mobbing him.
Oyegbade narrates his ordeals in the hands of the angry APC members “Today, Saturday, 15th October, I was covering local government election in Osogbo when some members of All Progressive Congress attacked me.”
“They said I should not cover the election. I attempted to educate them that they do not have the authority to dictate to me not to cover the election but they didn’t listen.”
“They attempted to seize my phone. They threatened that they would kill him. I must appreciate a local government chairman and few reasonable ones among the APC members who cautioned the overzealous ones that attacked me.”
“I must not fail to recognise the very unprofessional conduct of some of Policemen and a Policewoman at the scene. As I was being attacked, the police operatives on election duty were watching without doing anything. I expected them to protect me but they didn’t. A Policewoman was even telling me to leave the place. So sad.”
“Because of the mob, I couldn’t advise the fair complexion Policewoman that she was not doing the right thing. A police officer from Ataoja Division Police Headquarters later came to me and politely appealed to me to leave. So, I have left the place.”
“The experience was traumatising. The action of the APC members was not a big deal. Of course, as a journalist, I know it’s part of job hazard. The most unfortunate part that made me sad was the role of the policemen and the policewoman in particular. Alas.”
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