The attention of the leadership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ),

Zone C, (South East) has been drawn to the unwarranted invasion of the

Press Centre of NUJ, Abia State Council, at Umuahia today 12th

September, 2017, by the Nigerian army.
The military personnel reportedly beat up journalists on sight and

destroyed their working tools such as Samsung Tablets, mobile

telephones, and mini-recorders. The military men also destroyed

furniture, documents and other property yet to be quantified.

This unprovoked attack, to say the least, is barbaric and shameful,

and a throwback to dark days of military dictatorship, which the media

and other well meaning organizations and individuals fought hard to

change the regime and psyche.
The attack on the journalists on the ostensible suspicion of taking

photos and/or videos of the military on a “show of strength” in a

highly populated busy street, without any atom of security threat,

calls to question; whether Nigeria is still operating a civil

democracy or military dictatorship? Has Nigeria returned to the dark

days of police state? Or is Nigeria at war?
If indeed the military wants to “showcase her strength”, what is

wrong in the media, if at all they took pictures or video, in helping

them to showcase the military power? Haven’t they been calling for

media support and collaboration?
We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the military to order.

Nigeria deserves peace and development, and South East is peaceful, as

we have no evidence that Governors from this zone, who are the Chief

Security Officers of the zone, had made any request for military

deployment. Even the latest United Nation’s report indicates that

South East geo-political zone is the most peaceful in the country.

We call on the National Assembly and the International Community to

weigh into this fragrant abuse of human rights, and premeditated

provocation of civil disobedience that might precipitate shedding of

innocent blood.
We also call on the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff and

the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigerian Army Enugu to

take note of this unprofessional conducts and punish the unruly

officers. They should also take immediate steps to replace damaged

equipments/gadgets and compensate our colleagues manhandled. There

must be rules of engagement in line with international best practices.

Finally we advise the Federal Government to adopt dialogue in handling

issues of pro-Biafra agitations in the zone, which many have described

as a metaphor for so many contradictions and the state of anomy in the

economic and socio-political life of the country. All these had

equally resulted in strident calls from different quarters for urgent

restructuring of the country. The Federal Government cannot be

impervious to the building tension, frustration and suffering of

Nigerians and shouldn’t pour fuel into a gathering fire.

Comrade Chris Isiguzo Comrade
Kenneth Ofoma
Vice President Zone C
Secretary, Zone C

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