Attack On Journalists: NUJ Blacklist Ezza North From Media Coverage

By Celestine Okeh, Abakaliki

The Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) Ebonyi State Council has directed it's members to withdraw from reporting any activities in Ezza North Local Government Area, forthwith, pending when the authorities of the local Government Area will respond to attack and collosal damages incured by some members of the Union at Nkomoro Community recently, who were attacked while on official duty to cover the coronation of a traditional ruler in the community.

In a communique issued at the end of an emergency Congress of the Union held on Tuesday at the Press Center, Abakaliki, reiterates the condemnation of the attack on its and further frowned at the non-chalant attitude of Leader from the Area towards the plight of affected members.

The communique reads in part:

"The well attended emergency Congress which was presided over by the Council Chairman, Comrade Nwafor Samson, after fruitful deliberations, resolved as follows:

"Congress condemns in strongest term the attack on three members of the Union, namely: Mr Inya Uchenna of The Sun newspaper, Dr. Chinelo Okoro  and Sir Godwin Oguta, both of FRCN, Unity FM, Abakaliki, at Nkomoro Community in Ezza North LGA of Ebonyi State, on Saturday, June 15, 2024, by suspected hoodlums during a coronation event in the area. Congress describes the attack as not just crude and barbaric, but a clear attempt to intimidate, subdue and force Journalists into self censorship. 

"Congress strongly bemoans the unconcerned attitude of the People of Nkomoro Community about the unprovoked attack as they are yet to sympathize with the victims of this attack more than four days after the incident. Congress views this total lack of empathy by the people  of Nkomoro Community to mean that the attack was carefully and deliberately planned and executed by the entire community.

"Congress therefore, directs Members of NUJ in Ebonyi State to henceforth desist from covering events in Ezza North LGA, pending when relevant authorities and Stakeholders of the Council Area prevail on the people of Nkomoro Community or better still, the perpetrators of this dastardly act to adequately compensate our Colleagues for their losses during the attack and tender unreserved written apology to them and copy NUJ as a body. Congress resolved to sanction any member who flouts this directive. 

"Congress particularly took note of the role said to have been played in the dastardly act by one Oscar Nwafor and the members of his group, which include but not limited to the following: Samuel Nnoko, Livinus Eze, Obiora Ezaka, Cletus Igwe and Joseph Oganyi, and therefore, calls on the Ebonyi State Government and the Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State Command to immediately arrest and prosecute them as well as other people who are directly or indirect involved in the wanton attack and destruction of property of innocent Journalists whose only offence was doing their constitutional duties. 

"Congress appraised the one year in office of the incumbent administration in Ebonyi State ably led by Rt. Hon. Bldr Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru and unanimously agreed that the Governor has performed exceedingly well. Congress congratulates the Governor  for a successful and impactful one year in office and urges him not to relent in his administration's avowed determination and uncommon passion  to uplift our dear State to enviable  heights. Congress Pledges to continue to support the Governor to achieve his People's Charter of Needs agenda. 

"Congress also appeals to the Governor, Rt. Hon. Bldr. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, to please act on his administration's promise to renovate the Ebonyi State NUJ Secretariat that's currently in a deplorable condition. Congress strongly believes that the renovation of the secretariat will enhance the operations of Journalists in the State. 

"Congress commends the Member representing Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo Federal Constituency, Hon. Nkemkama Kama for donating a borehole to Ebonyi State Council of NUJ; and urges other public spirited individuals to emulate the federal Lawmaker by assisting the Union on other areas of need to enable Journalists in the State function optimally.

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