Nigeria League of Veteran Journalists (NALVEJ) has upbraid the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, for his highhandedness against some journalists in the state, saying he is exhibiting traits of dictatorship. This was disclosed in a statement by the NALVEJ president, Chief Oliver Okpala.
Okpala expressed regret that Umahi could display such behaviour as a governor, saying that it was worrisome that he had forgotten that it was the media that brought him into limelight when he was an unknown engineer in Lagos State.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), SERAP, CASER and many others had earlier lampooned the governor who banned two journalists, from The Sun and Vanguard newspapers, from entering any government facility in the state “for life” over reports that were allegedly unfavourable to his administration.
The union called on the Federal Government of Nigeria, NUJ, NGE, CLO, SERAP and others to spearhead a redemptive action against Umahi before he proceeds in error.
The statement read in part: ‘’We the elders in the media progression know the rules of the game and we are well aware of the rights of journalists.”
“Even under the military regimes under which many of us veteran journalist practiced, the soldiers respected us and always tried to befriend us. So, there was largely cordial relationships between leaders of the country and journalists.”
” 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?”
They called for a prompt intervention by concerned institutions in order to 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,” the statement added.
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