COVID-19: Task force attacks journalists in Delta

Nigerian journalists in an interview session[Photo: The Standard]
Journalists in an interview session[Photo: The Standard]

Officials of the Delta Task Force on Environment on Wednesday unleashed some beatings on the Chairman of the State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Michael Ikeogwu.

Also attacked was the correspondent of the Daily Post, Mathew Omonigho.

The duo was in Otiotio Street, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state to monitor the stay-at-home order by the government, as a measure taken to curtail the spread COVID-19 pandemic in Delta.

Narrating his ordeal Mr Ikeogwu said he had approached the environmental officials on why they should force residents to do sanitation, despite the government order.

According to him, he and his fellow journalist were held hostage for over 45 minutes by the overzealous officials led by one Kingsley Iweka.

“It took the swift intervention of the Chairman of the Environment Task Force, Mr Sylvester Oromoni, to free us from them through phone call.

“I wondered what will become of the ordinary man in the society if government officials could assault journalists in this manner even after identifying ourselves.

“Today is not environmental sanitation. Why should a taskforce constituted for environmental sanitation come out on a day that people are asked to stay at home to enforce environmental sanitation?

“The action further endangers the lives of the people as it contravenes the social distance directive of the governor.

“I am disappointed with the attitude of the leader of the team, who, after I had introduced myself, ordered his boys to attack me and my colleague,” he said.

Mr Ikeogwu, however, urged the state government to call the officials to order, noting that many journalists might become victims before the expiration of the two weeks lockdown of the state.

Reacting, Mr Oromoni said the task force gave the order that the people should come out and clean their environment.

He, however, pleaded that “the matter should end there.”


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