NUJ To Uzodinma: Caution Your Brother, Aides Against Attacking Journalists, Imo Residents
The Nigeria Union Of Journalists (NUJ), Imo state chapter, has asked Governor Hope Uzodinma to caution his brother Uche Uzodinma and government aides against attacking and harassing journalists and residents of the state.
The union’s appeal is coming weeks after publisher of Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper, Precious Nwadike, was allegedly brutalized by the governor’s younger brother, Uche Uzodinma.
In a press release signed by its spokesman, Sir Sunny Ndukwu, the NUJ Imo said it maintained silence over the alleged assault on its member to ensure that he was in safe hands in Lagos before making a statement about the incident.
It said, “The Nigeria Union Of Journalists, Imo state Council has condemned the attack on one of her members who was manhandled by the younger brother to the governor of Imo state, Mr Uche Uzodinma.
“According to our member and publisher of Nigeria Watchdog newspaper, Comr. Precious Nwadike who narrated his ordeal, he disclosed that the governor’s younger brother, Mr Uche Uzodinma supervised some thugs who manhandled him where he had gone to effect his National Identification Number (NIN) enrollment along Port Harcourt road, Owerri, penultimate week.
“The defenseless Precious Nwadike was left unconscious except for the help of passers-by who came to his rescue. He was consequently flown to a Lagos hospital for adequate medical care.”
While highlighting the importance of journalists in the society, the union expressed concern that the lives and wellness of the journalists could be threatened by siblings or aides of the government.
It advised that anyone who feels aggrieved by the works of any journalist should either seek redress legally or sue for defamation.
“Media practitioners in the state are partners of every government in progress as we have helped in promoting government’s policies and day to day activities in every administration in the state.
“It becomes worrisome when overzealous aides or siblings of the governor resort to crude brutality when dealing with journalists or any other member of the public for that matter.
“Anybody, either a government appointee or corporate entity who feels his or her image is defamed by any information published by any media outfit can seek redress through the appropriate channels and can of course sue for defamation, instead of taking the laws into their hands.
The NUJ Imo further alleged that there were reports about how the governor’s brother has been going around attacking reporters and residents of the state.
“The Union seizes this opportunity to call on the governor, Sen Hope Uzodinma to caution his overzealous aides and siblings to desist from intimidating Imo residents and particularly media practitioners in the state.
“Since Uche Uzodinma’s attack on Nwadike, no fewer than three persons have stepped forward to narrate their own ugly experiences in the hand of the Governor’s brother.
“Consequently, it becomes expedient for the governor to take steps to restrain his brother from throwing his weight around in the state. We advise the governor therefore, to investigate the activities of his younger brother because it is the primary responsibility of the governor to protect every Imo citizen even if it means protecting them against his own brother, Uche Uzodinma,” it warned.