The senator representing Ondo North, Ajayi Boroffice, has condemned the attack on journalists and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the factional state congress of the party in Akure on Saturday.
Violence at a congress held by an APC faction left at least six journalists and five politicians injured.
Thugs suspected to be working for the state government stormed the BTO Hall, Akure, brandishing machetes, clubs and dangerous weapons and inflicting injuries on many.
In a press statement issued on Sunday by his media aide, Kayode Fakuyi, the senator described the attack on politicians and journalists as “condemnable, barbaric and unacceptable.”
“Senator Boroffice wishes to condemn the brutal attack on member of the House of Representatives, representing Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency, Hon. Bamidele Baderinwa and other prominent politicians during the State Congress of the APC at BTO Hall in Akure on Saturday.
“It is most unfortunate that the assailants of the politicians also attacked and maimed journalists who were on ground to cover the event. Sunkanmi Elujoba of Adaba FM, Damisi Ojo of The Nation, Bamigbola Gbolagunte of The Sun, Olumide Abudu of Radio Nigeria Positive FM, James Sowole of Thisday and the chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists in the state were not spared from attacks.
“I solidarise and sympathise with the leadership and members of Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ) in Ondo State and the Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ in Ondo State in this moment of travail and tribulation. The brutal attack on journalists indicates a brazen attack on the press. The day of the attack remains a dark day. It also represent a major setback in the advancement of principles of freedom of the Press and safety of pressmen.”
The senator advised the NUJ to liaise and work with concerned authorities to forestall recurrence of such an incident in future.
He also advised that “institutionalised measures should be put in place to protect members of the Fourth Estate of the realm at all times.”
“The Ondo State Police Command is urged to swiftly apprehend and prosecute the assailants of politicians and journalists. The task before the Police Command is quite easy because the assailants are known persons with known addresses,” the lawmaker said.