The National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. Chris Isiguzo on Thursday, warned the governor of Ebonyi state chief David Umahi against the incessant arrest and threats on the lives of Journalists operating in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi state.
Isiguzo issued the warning through in a statement signed by the national Secretariat, Mr. Shuaibu Usman Leman and forwarded to Journalists in Abakaliki, ask the governor to desist from intimidating Journalists.
According to him: “In the light of these unabated attacks and intimidation of Journalists, we call once more on Governor Umahi to tread with caution because the Union will hold him personally responsible for any untoward action on Journalists in Ebonyi State.
“It must also be noted that the purported ban placed on two journalists in the state from visiting the Government House or any government facility in Ebonyi State is a joke taken too far by the governor since these facilities are public and not private property. It should be noted that neither the Governor nor any government official can determine media content or stop journalists from holding government accountable” he stated
Meanwhile, the leadership of the indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in a statement signed by comrade Emma Powerful, the media and publicity, cautioned the governor to refrain from attacking Journalists.
“The attention of the great family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) worldwide has been drawn to the incessant harassment, humiliation and arrest of innocent journalists in Ebonyi State since the beginning of this year 2020 by David Umahi.
“Umahi has not stopped harassing and giving threatening messages to journalists in Ebonyi state over their insistence in exposing through their factual reports, the ongoing genocides and unprovoked attacks against hapless Ebonyi people by Fulani herdsmen, terrorists, and security operatives in some instances.
“It’s no longer in doubt that Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi and his co consiperators have been strategically supporting the humiliation and killing of Ebonyi people since he took over office in 2015. Under governor Dave Umahi’s watch in Ebonyi State, journalists who believe in reporting truths are no longer safe.
“We, therefore want to put the world on notice how this Saboteur Governor is conniving with the enemies to suppress his own people. We equally want to remind Gov. Umahi that we have been watching and monitoring his actions. His recent antics to arrest innocent journalists for reporting the truth will not go unpunished” the group alleged.
Also, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has demanded for the unconditional release and freedom of Journalists that was arrested by police through the directive of the state governor, David Umahi.
Ohanaeze in a statement signed by the President General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro said: “Umahi should know that the arrest of Journalists would destroy the good works and the integrity he had built across the country. Igbo Youths also Urge journalists to report news that will not destroy the fragile peace we enjoy in the South East. Igbo Youths have the implicit Confidence that Umahi as a man of Peace and God sent will definitely prevail on the Situation” he stated.
“Ohanaeze insists that Southeast Governors Forum are media friendly and had maintained that there is freedom of press in the zone and Urge Press men to co operate with the leaders of the zone” he noted.