Some persons suspected to be hoodlums stormed the venue of a press conference addressed by some members of the Osun State Working Committee (SWC) of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Osogbo, the State capital, on July 16, 2018 and beat up journalists covering the event as well as some APC members.
The thugs numbers numbering over 20 stormed the venue in a 14-seater passenger bus, wielding different dangerous weapons did not spare the secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Osun State council, Mr. Bamigbola Boladale; he was terribly beaten by the rampaging thugs, who also tore his clothes to shreds.
It was reported that trouble ensued when the thugs invaded GMT Hotels, venue of the press conference, along Ring Road area of Osogbo around 11.15 am to disrupt the programme. They caused serious panic and pandemonium at the venue, as some of the party members who attended the briefing alongside journalists ran in a different directions.
Narrating his ordeal to the TribuneOnline, one of the correspondents of a national newspaper, who pleaded anonymity, said “we were at the programme to give coverage to the news conference by some members of the APC state executives when the thugs came and attacked us. Though some of us managed to escape, I was thoroughly beaten and ordered to do frog jump”.
The International Press Centre, (IPC) in the statement released in Lagos on July 18, 2018 condemned the attack on the Mr. Boladale and some other journalists.
Mr. Lanre Arogundade, the Executive Director of IPC, described the attack as unacceptable.
According to Mr. Arogundade “This kind of act is not acceptable from any individual or group because journalists are not to be treated as animals. They deserve the right to perform their duties without fear or intimidation.”
He therefore demanded that the Osun State Commissioner of Police should immediately probe the assault and make the culprits to face the consequences of their actions.
The IPC director however cautioned journalists to ensure that that they are well protected and seek assurances of their safety in covering crisis of political parties.