April 28, 2020

South East journalists decry Umahi’s attack


Minister of Works, Engr. Dave Umahi

Executive Governor of Ebonyi state, Dr. Dave Umahi

…PDP has a duty to rein in Gov Umahi — Ebonyi indigenes
…Umahi is a local Hitler in Nigeria’s political space — Nigeria League of Veteran Journalists

By Anayo Okoli, Omeiza Ajayi & Peter Okutu

IZUN-WANNE, a group of progressive-minded journalists of South East  origin, has condemned the ban of two journalists, Peter Okutu of Vanguard and Chijioke Agwu of the Sun Newspapers from the Ebonyi State Government facilities  by Governor David Umahi, describing the action as unacceptable.

The group rejected Umahi’s action as “over stepped behaviour, outrageous and unwholesome”, and demanded an unreserved apology from Gov Umahi for his reprehensible conduct and affront on the media.

In a statement signed by Sir Abuchi Anueyiagu, the Convener and Elder Ngwuoke Ngwuoke, the Secretary, Izunwanne further described as, “unacceptable, extreme actions against two journalists in his state”, saying that “his action was unbecoming of a governor”.

PDP has a duty to rein in Umahi — Ebonyi indigenes

Meanwhile, Ebonyi State indigenes in diaspora have asked the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to call their governor, Dave Umahi, to order, saying the purported ban placed on two journalists in the state is capable of demarketing the party.

The indigenes under the aegis of Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora AESID in a statement yesterday said the National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP must caution the governor against maladministration and moves capable of dwindling the party’s own fortunes in future elections.

In a statement signed by its chairman, Ambassador Pascal Oluchukwu, the group said the PDP has a duty to caution the governor against what he described as “undemocratic practices and ensure that his actions, on behalf of the party, do not undermine its enviable democratic credentials.”

Umahi is a local Hitler in Nigeria’s political space — Nigeria League of Veteran Journalists

In a similar vein, the Nigeria League of Veteran Journalists, NALVEJ, has joined the ranks of top media and other organizations rebuking the Ebonyi State Governor,   Engr Dave Umahi over his highhandedness against Journalists in the state.

In a statement in   Abuja,the President of NALVEJ, Chief Oliver Okpala expressed regret that Engr Umahi could rise to the office of governor   in Nigeria.

Chief Okpala said Engr. Umahi was displaying traits of the Hitler, the   German dictator who led the world into the Second World War.

‘’We the elders in the media know the rules of the game and we are well aware of the rights of Journalists.

“We will therefore not allow a local Hitler like Umahi to trample on the inalienable rights of  Nigerian journalists for his selfish reasons.

“It is very clear that Umahi has skeletons in his cupboard and  that is why he does not want to see any report critical of his adminstration.   That is a barbaric and archaic mentality.”

Even during the military regimes under which many of us veteran Journalists practiced, they soldiers respected us and always tried to befriened us. So there was largely cordial relationships between leaders of the country and journalists.

READ ALSO: Obaseki will sustain Edo re-engineering – Shaibu

“But because Umahi is a natural dictator And a Hitler of sort in our political space,   he does not value cordial relationship with journalists and even individuals.   This is clear in the treatment he meted out to the man who brought him into government as deputy governor,   Martin Elechi. This showed the kind of person he is. The way he betrayed Elechi clearly showed that he is a camelion that cannot be trusted.   He is treacherous and highly selfish. He is not fit for Nigerian politics. A governor is supposed to be an epitome   of decorum,   humility   and trust worthyness.

“Going down memory lane, it should be noted that when he was in ANPP people from his own constituency attacked him and his property over this same negative attitude.”

This made him to run out of that party and joined   to Dr   Sam Egwu in PDP who rehabilitated him. Suddenly he now feels he is Almighty.

How can a Governor   in present day Nigeria   ‘banish’ two newspapers of repute,   the Sun and Vanguard from covering activities in a Government house that was build with public funds?

Besides,   the Governor ‘s     office   is not his personal property. Just like a barrack,   soldiers come and go and it remains.

“Umahi has no powers to ‘ban for life’,     the reporters in question or any other journalist for that matter. The Nigerian   media,   the Federal   Government and other well meaning organizations   should rise against this sadistic move so that he won’t establish an impression that the people planted   in government’s   houses are just dictators and hitlers.

“We call on the Nigeria Union of Journalists,   the Nigeria   Guild of Editors NGE,   Civil Liberties Organization CLO,   SERAP and others to spearheaded a redemptive action against Umahi now before he proceeds in error. This would serve as a deterrent       to other Governors who may attempt to toe this same path of infamy and recklessness.

“On our part,   we the fathers of the journalism profession in the country will not stand by and watch Umahi undermined the integrity of the Nigerian media which has fought and defeated colonialism and military dictatorship.”