On October 25, 2018, the Rivers State Correspondent of the Leadership newspaper, Mr. Anayo Onukwugha, was assaulted by one of the soldiers guarding the main entrance of the new terminal of the Port Harcourt International Airport at Omagwa in Rivers State. He was hospitalized as a result of the injuries he sustained.
Anayo was at the airport at about 9.30am to cover the commissioning of the international wing of the airport by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The soldier prevented him from entering the venue of the ceremony in spite of his identifying himself as a journalist. The soldier, who was in mufti, hit Anayo several times with a stick.
Narrating his ordeal, Anayo said: “They [soldiers] were pushing back the crowd that came for the event and I identified myself to the soldier as a journalist, but that did not mean anything to him as he began to hit my legs with a stick.”
Journalists from other media houses including Daily Trust, The Punch, Daily Independent, New Telegraph and The Sun were all barred from covering the event by the security agents, in spite of the journalists appropriately identifying themselves with their official identification cards.