At about 4.00am on March 30, 2020, a group of soldiers manning a checkpoint at Mbiama, a border town between Rivers and the Bayelsa States attacked a circulation vehicle belonging to The Punch newspaper which was on its way to distribute copies of the day’s newspaper in states in the South-South zone, and damaged the car.
According to the driver of the vehicle, Mr Sunkanmi Olusola, when he got to Mbiama, the soldiers stopped him and the driver of the circulation vehicle of The Nation newspaper and refused to allow them to continue their journey. He said his appeal to the soldiers to allow them to leave apparently angered one of them who brought out a knife which he had with him and slashed one of the vehicle’s front tyres into shreds.
Mr. Olusola said the soldier had initially tried unsuccessfully to smash the windscreen of the Passat Golf 3 car before deciding to use the knife to tear the tyre.
The soldiers also stopped a ThisDay newspaper truck carrying newsprint from entering the state.