Soldiers assault photo journalist in Borno, apologise
A photo-journalist, Olatunji Omirin of Daily Trust newspaper who attempted to take snapshots of protesting women yesterday in Maiduguri, was manhandled by angry soldiers who slapped him and took away his camera. Our correspondent reports that it took the intervention of Malam Abba Kakami, the chairman of the Borno state chapter of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) for Omirin to get back his camera. Recounting his ordeal in the hands of the soldiers, Tunji said: “The whole trouble started at the Ramat Square where some women came to meet some military officers but the issue could not be resolved.
“Then some women started protesting against the alleged arrest of their sons and husbands by the Joint Task Force (JTF) and vowed to go and lodge complaints to Governor Kashim Shettima at the government house.
“As the women approached the state television house (BRTV); three soldiers came forth from the nearby sector command of the JTF and started shooting into the sky to scare away the protesters.
“I therefore ran to capture the scene when one of the soldiers demanded for my camera which I refused to give. The other one slapped my face and the third one snatched my camera”, Omirin said.
He said that was when the NUJ chairman intervened and explained so many things to the soldiers which made them to release the camera.
Tunji said the soldier that slapped him had also tendered an apology.