The Nigerian Union Of Journalist has warned the state governor, Dave Umahi to tread with caution and put his act of impunity under control, warning that the union will hold him accountable if anything untoward happens to any journalist in the state.
9news Nigeria gathered that Umahi on Wednesday banned the Correspondents of The Sun newspaper, Chijioke Agwu, and the Vanguard Newspaper, Peter Okutu, from entering Government house and Government facilities in the State for life.
Describing the purported ban as a joke taken too far, the union wondered where the governor derived his power to stop journalists on lawful duty from accessing public places, insisting that he or any other government official has no right to determine media contents.
In a release signed by the Union’s National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman, and made available to 9News Nigeria , NUJ while warning that it cannot condone attempts by the governor to destroy the profession and practitioners in the state accused him of instigating attacks on its members.
“The NUJ National Secretariat condemns the continuous desperate action of Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State to destroy Journalists and Journalism in his state. The most recent development in which Governor Umahi was instigating attacks against Journalists in the State is frightening to the Union as it signals clearly that such attacks on the media are not going to abate any soon.
“We regret to note that Governor Umahi is ingloriously attaining notoriety in his continuous harassment, detentions and insults on Journalists who dare to report what he feels are against the interest of his government. As professionals whose responsibility is to monitor governance and hold Government accountable to the masses, Journalists now live in perpetual fear of being arrested by security operatives or attacked by faceless assailants without any just cause in Ebonyi State.
“The NUJ has repeatedly cautioned against such acts of impunity and stressed that it is worth noting that press freedom is key to achieving credible democracy and this freedom includes the right to seek and receive information from all available sources to enable formulation of proper opinions to whomsoever one desires and to do so through whichever means it is feasible to communicate. Such attacks we believe are meant to curtail such freedoms.”