Soldiers, on Tuesday September 12, reportedly raided the secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalist in Abia State.
According to reports, the soldiers who were about 20 in number forced their way into the secretariat smashing phones, upturning chairs and assaulting some of the journalists present.
Eye witnesses claim the soldiers said a journalist recorded a video of them while they were driving through the city in a show of force.
Upon entry, some of them had cocked their guns before they proceeded to destroy their work tools and assault them.
Their anger according to reports is regarding how the media personalities were reporting the faceoff they are having with IPOB members in the state. Recall that some officers and IPOB members have been having a running battle following the military officers’ attempt to invade the home of the secessionist group leader, Nnamdi Kanu in Umuahia.
In the words of Mr Boniface Okoro, a national trustee of the NUJ , “they slapped me and ordered me to open my bag. When I did and I was bringing out the content, they snatched my iPad and destroyed it.”
Confirming the attack, the Army released a statement stating that the officers involved in the attack on the journalists would be made to face disciplinary actions.
Read the statement below…
The attention of 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, has been drawn to social media publications alleging that troops on patrol in Umuahia town have invaded the NUJ Press Centre in Umuahia at about 10.00am today.
While it was true there was an issue between some soldiers on routine patrol, the magnitude is not as was reported. What happened was that while the soldiers on patrol near the Abia State NUJ Secretariat, they noticed some people filming them. Unfortunately, they seized and damaged their recording devices; an iPad and 2 mobile phones.
Preliminary investigation shows that the items belongs to journalists on their legitimate duties. Consequently, the Commander 14 Brigade and Deputy Director Army Public Relations 82 Division waded into the matter which has since been resolved amicably.
In addition, the soldiers involved will face disciplinary action.
The public are please requested to eschew rumour mongering and go about their lawful business.
Major Oyegoke Badamosi
Assistant Director Public Relations 14 Brigade