Working journalists in Ebonyi Wednesday threatened to boycott activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.
The decision followed the shoddy treatment meted on them by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Chukwuemeka Joseph Chukwu at the commission’s secretariat in Abakaliki.
The commission was accused of compromise in some quarters, especially as the state has been inundated with declaration of vacant seats in both the executive and legislative arms of the government.
Ebonyi state House of Assembly had during its plenary on Tuesday directed the Clerk of the House to write a letter to the commission to conduct bye-election in constituencies whose lawmakers’ seats were declared vacant.
Considering this, correspondents of national dailies and other media entities in the state gathered at the conference hall of INEC office for a briefing by the REC, Chukwuemeka Joseph’s Chukwu around 11.15 am in the morning but met the shock of their lives.
The state INEC Administrative Secretary, Mr Clement Oha, summoned the journalists to his office and told them that the scheduled briefing was not for massive coverage.
He said, “The Commission does not need the massive coverage of its activities; we don’t need this whole press.”
Addressing members of the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ebonyi state Council, vice chairman of the chapel, Comrade Uchenna Inya, expressed dismay over the action of the commission.
Comrade Inya said the Commission cannot work effectively without the partnership of journalists in the state and urged on the chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmud Yakubu to call the Resident Electoral Commission, Ebonyi state to order.