The Abia State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) is in receipt of a complaint relating to the primitive invasion of All Breaking News (ABN) TV headquarters on Azikiwe Road, Umuahia, by operatives of Abia State Police Command, in a calculated move to nab a guest who came to participate in a live programme in the station.
This invasion leaves a sour taste in the mouth and should be condemned by well-meaning Nigerians, given that the Police operatives knew where they ought to hunt for their suspect given that the petition against him must have contained his address.
It is pertinent to recall that few years back, the Police in Abia, in a similar gestapo fashion, invaded Flo FM, Umuahia, also to arrest a guest invited to a live programme.
In September 2017, military personnel invaded the NUJ Press Centre in Umuahia and not only assaulted journalists but equally destroyed their tools of trade.
These attacks refuse to take into account, the roboust relationship the media in Abia has fostered with security agencies in the state over the years.
We want to state categorically that these attackss are in bad taste, designed to harm the media industry as they have the propensity to make media houses endangered zones for guests invited to live programmes and muzzle plurality of opinions which oil democracy.
In an era when live programming has become the fashion in broadcasting, arresting guests who honour invitations to live programmes translates to a systematic but crude means of putting the media out of business occasioned by resultant damages to costly, senstive equipment and scaring people away.
We call on the Police hierarchy in the state to reign in their men and put a stop to such ill-motivated attacks.
The Council alligns with the management of ABN TV in their demand for unreserved apology from and replacement of damaged equipment by the Police.
Both the Police and the Media are working for the good of society and it does not make for good synergy for the Police, and any other security agencies for that matter, to unduly put the media at a disadvantage.
Comrade Victor Ndukwe
Chairman NUJ Abia State Council
Comrade Adaeze Ralph Igbokwe