From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Niger State council of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Correspondents Chapel have described the police attack on Channels television reporter and his cameraman as barbaric and totally unacceptable.
According to council secretary, Comrade Abu Nmadu, while reacting to the attack said,
“As a Union we condemn harassment of members in totality, this is unacceptable”.
Also, the chairman of the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Aideloje Ojo, when contacted said an official report had been made to the state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Adamu Usman, who promised to “look into the matter”.
He described the action of the police as unwarranted and unprovoked saying the attack on the media representatives who were performing their legitimate duties is barbaric.
“This is unfortunate for our democracy. This action of the police is highly condemnable”.
The Channels Television reporter, Emperor Simon and the cameraman, Abdul Egba, who were on the scene were said to have been manhandled by the policemen and their camera seized.
The reporter, Emperor Simon, who confirmed the incident, told reporters in Minna that his cameraman was whisked away along with the camera by the armed policeman.
Consequently, the Local Government elections in Niger state on Tuesday took a different dimension as police teargassed several Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters who were protesting the cancellation of the results for the chairmanship election in Tafa local government.
Several supporters of the party had taken to the streets and attempted to block the ever busy Kaduna-Abuja expressway when policemen exposed several canisters of teargas to disperse them.
It could be recalled that State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) on Monday announced the cancellation of the Chairmanship election in Tafa, saying that the results could not be collated due to the disappearance of the returning officer.
The commission Chairman, Alhaji Aminu Bala told journalists that the whereabout of the returning is unknown, hence the decision by the commission to canceled the election in the local government.
However our correspondent gathered that the policemen also shot live bullets into the air but injury was recorded.
A Channels Television reporter, Emperor Simon and the cameraman, Abdul Egba who were on the scene were said to have been manhandled by the policemen and their camera seized.
The reporter, Emperor Simon who confirmed the incident told other correspondents that his camera man was whisked away along with the camera.
According to Emperor, “They also beat up myself with stick and gun butts and have taken the Cameraman” he stated.
However, the State Chairman of the PDP, Barrister Tanko Beji had earlier protested the cancellation of the result of Tafa to the state electoral commission, asking It to announce the result or appoint another returning officer to go to Tafa to do so.
Beji said from the results collated by the party agents on the field its candidate Dangana Emmanuel won the chairmanship election.