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Press Statement

Harassment of Reporters: You Won’t Be Governor Forever, Ebonyi Indigenes Tell Umahi

The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) has condemned in strong terms the eviction of two journalists from the government House by the incumbent governor of the state, Dave Umahi, saying the governor’s days in office are numbered.

The governor during a live broadcast on Wednesday had declared that the Correspondents of the Sun Newspapers, Chijioke Agwu and that of the Vanguard Peter Okutu, should stop covering the State Government House’s activities henceforth.

Umahi was quoted to have said he had banned the two Journalists ‘forever.’

But reacting to the development through a statement signed in Abuja on Thursday by the Chairman of AESID, Ambassador Pascal Oluchukwu, discribed such decision as dictatorial in a democratic system of government.

Pascal said his group has been vindicated by the latest abnormal exhibited by the governor, adding that the state government had forgotten that Journalists have constitutional rights to cover the activities of the government.

The group said the whole world willow see the excess of governor Umahi jet has been complaining about for some years.

The group said: “Governor Umahi is ruling the state like a Banana Republic where there are no rules of law, hence his desperate move to cover up several attrocities going on in Ebonyi State.

The Ebonyi indigenous group challenged the governor to tell the world the causes of so many mysterious deaths recently in the state

The Ebonyi State indigenes, however, “apologise to the two Journalists, their organisations and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) for the embarrassing act of our governor.”

Ambassador Pascal said Ebonyi State needs to be rescued from the hands of the current handlers, hence the need for more investigative reporting into the activities of the current state governor.

“We appeal to Journalists not to be dettered because without critical journalism in a democracy, some actors might likely act like dictators.

“As we speak, there are lot of alledge looting, unreported killings and all manners of misgovernance going on Ebonyi State. We suspect that governor Umahi-led administration were no longer comfortable with these two good Journalists of Vanguard and the Sun Newspapers, hence the public embarrassment he has caused the state.

“The banning of these two Journalists is a result of plot to cover up some atrocities already committed. There are people this government has taken their lands forcefully for Airport project, but till now these poor farmers have nowhere to call home again.

“Pensioners have never received anything like pension since this government came in. The governor banned Okada business without providing them another means of livelihood.

“We, the indigenous citizens of Ebonyi in diaspora are saying no to banning of Journalists in Ebonyi government House and we call on all the media Houses to beem their searchlight more on the misgovernance going on in our dear state.

“We also call on all the true Civil Society groups to be up and doing for the sake of our people,” the statement said.


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