Journalists Covering Coronation Ceremony Assaulted by Thugs in Ebonyi

Comrade Sampson Nwafor, Ebonyi State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists

On June 16, 2024, armed thugs of Nkomoro community in the Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State attacked journalists who went to cover the election and coronation ceremony of the traditional ruler (Eze) in the community.

The affected journalists which include Mr. Uchenna Inya, of The Sun newspaper, Sir Godwin Oguta and Dr. Chinelo Okoro, both of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Unity FM, Abakaliki, were attacked by the thugs who blocked them as well as other guests who attended the coronation, on their way out of the community.

Mr. Inya while recounting their ordeal, explained that the community had been in conflict over the selection of a new traditional ruler. He mentioned that while he and his colleagues were covering the election/coronation event in Nkomoro community, they were attacked by thugs who vandalized his car when they were returning to Abakaliki.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ebonyi State Council, has condemned Saturday’s attack on its members invited to cover a coronation ceremony at Nkomoro community, in Ezza North Local government Area of Ebonyi State.

According to news reports, the thugs were fully in the know of the identities of the journalists. Also, the car conveying them had visible insignia that fully identified them as journalists.

In a statement condemning the incident signed by the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Sampson Nwafor, the Council noted that the incident was another sad reminder of the danger being faced daily by journalists in the line of duty.

According to the statement, the Council said that the perpetrators of the act were among those opposed to the coronation.

They wondered why they should take laws into their own hands to the extent of attacking innocent journalists merely carrying out their constitutional duties.

The Council, therefore, called on security agencies as well as the state government to fish out and punish the perpetrators, to serve as a deterrent to others.

“This is very important because the safety and security of journalists are very important for our fledging democracy to thrive,” they added.

They reiterated that the work of journalists is in the public interest, and acts of impunity against them should not be condoned.