Nnaya Eziyi, Umuahia
About 20 soldiers have invaded the secretariat of the Abia State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Umuahia, assaulting a national officer of the union and destroying his tablet.
The soldiers, who were part of a troop on Show of Force along Aba Road in the state capital also destroyed another reporter’s cell phone and turned the furniture upside down.
They alleged, that the National Trustee, Zone C, of the union, Eze Ogo Boniface Okoro had been noticed behind one of the windows of the office taking pictures of the convoy.
While the operation lasted, over 50 combat-ready soldiers surrounded the one-storey building, just as others watched with rapt attention in their vehicles, which included APC, Hilux vans and trucks.
Reacting to the allegation, the state correspondent of The Oracle Today Newspapers, who is Okojogho 111 and the traditional ruler of Akpughuru Edda in Ebonyi State denied it in strong terms.
“Swooping on our office, one of them pointed at me and ordered me to give him my phone. I told him I had no phone with me at that material time, he slapped me and ordered me to open my bag which I was carrying,” he said.
Okoro said as he was bringing out the contents, he also brought out his Samsung Table 3, adding that immediately the officer grabbed the tablet and smashed it
The traditional ruler said they collected the other phone from Sunday Nwakanma of Daily Times and destroyed it with their gun.
An eyewitness alleged that another soldier broke the side glass of a commuter bus parked by the roadside and grabbed a phone from one of the passengers on the same allegation and smashed it.
The council Chairman, and his Correspondents’ Chapel counterpart, Comrades John Emejor and Emmanuel Ugwu respectively have condemned the attack, describing it as an insult on journalism and democracy.
Meanwhile, Col. Sagir Musa, the Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division, who briefed journalists on the imminent commencement of ‘operation pyhthon dance’ from September 15 to O ctober 14, said that he was at the NUJ secretariat to convey unreserved apologies from the 82 Div. of the Nigerian Army and the GOC, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Abubakar, to journalists in the state over Tuesday’s invasion of the union secretariat and assault on some journalists by some military personnel.