NUJ Condemns JTF For Brutalising Journalist In Warri

THE Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Warri correspondents’ chapel has condemned in strong terms the unwarranted attack on the Sun Newspaper Correspondent in Warri, Elder Emmanuel Ogoigbe, by men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) at a checkpoint in Warri.
The septuagenarian was said to have allegedly passed a piece of information to the soldiers of an impending breakdown of law and order after a soldier killed a woman at Ekpan junction while heading for her daughter’s wedding.

The Chairman of the chapel, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, in a statement signed and made available to Nigerian Tribune on Monday in Warri, has given the authorities of 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Effurun, from where the bloodthirsty soldiers were deployed, seven days ultimatum to apologise to the union and Elder Ogoigbe for the unprovoked attack and humiliation.

“We want to state our displeasure on 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.

“We vehemently frown on a situation whereby military personnel, who are meant to protect lives and property, turn around and begin to brutalise, molest and sometime kill the people they are meant to protect,” Ikeogwu noted.

The Chapel also called on the Chief of Army Staff and the Commanding Officer, 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army to fish out the culprits and apportion appropriate sanctions to serve as a deterrent to others.

Chairman of the Delta State Council of the NUJ, Comrade Norbert Chiazor, who expressed his displeasure, described as unacceptable an attack on any journalists for whatever reason, noting that the era of military brutalisation of journalists were over.

“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,” he warned.

Meanwhile, the Elder Ogoigbe, while narrating his ordeal in the hands of the khaki boys, said one Sergeant Joseph and his team at Ugbolokposo Army check point, grabbed him, and like in a wrestling bout, threw him on the bare ground and asked him to be rolling on the bare ground.

As if the torture was not enough, Ogoigbe said: “I was asked to jump into the dirty three-inch gutter filled with dangerous species.

“He hit me with the butt of the gun; kicked me severally. As if that was not enough, a neighbour who just waved at me, expressing sympathy, was questioned for 10 minutes even when Staff Sgt. Joseph continued to call me a criminal and also took my photograph.

“It took the intervention of a fellow soldier and scores of sympathisers to plead for my release after 30 minutes

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