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Published On: Wed, Apr 1st, 2020

Coronavirus: Journalists bemoan hoarding of protective equipment in Benue

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From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

Benue State chapter of the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ has lamented over the adamant refusal of the State Action Response Committee on coronavirus to provide them with equipment.
It should be noted that last week, following an appeal by the chairman of the Correspondent Chapel, Aloysius Umalo that a journalist should be included in the response committee, Governor Samuel Ortom directed immediately that a journalist be incorporated into the committee.
He also, instructed that essential equipment like sanitizers and face masks be distributed to them.
The Deputy Governor Engr. Benson Abounu had reiterated that.
However, more than two weeks after, the committee has deliberately refused to release equipment to journalists.
This is just as the committee members including the Commissioner for Information, Mrs. Ngunan Addingi and that of Health, Mr. Sunday Ongbabo were allegedly seen carting away packs of masks and sanitizers for themselves and family members.
Commenting on this ugly development, Chairman of Correspondent Chapel who is also a member of the committee, Aloysius Umalo regretted the manner the committee is treating journalists in the state.
“It is unfortunate what is happening. We are on essential duties and need these equipment to protect ourselves,” he decried.
It should be recalled that the state government has released the sum of 76 million naira to the committee while United Bank of Nigeria, UBA also, disbursed the sum of 28.5 million naira to the Benue State government.

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