Thugs disrupt APC press conference in Kaduna
Armed thugs, yesterday, attacked journalists and others at the Kaduna State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, secretariat, disrupting a press conference being addressed by Senators Shehu Sani and Othman Hunkuyi on the outcome of the recently held congress of All Progressives Congress,(APC).
The thugs, who were allegedly led by a Divisional Police Officer, destroyed the video camera of Liberty Television crew, injured the cameraman, Lawal Muhammed, damaged several cameras and injured two other reporters.
The thugs also broke doors, windows and damaged chairs and tables at the secretariat.
The Senators were, however, whisked away as journalists rallied round to defend themselves from the attack.
Trouble started when members of the Akida group of APC in the state stormed the NUJ secretariat to protest the result of the recently held delegates’ election for the forthcoming non-elective convention of the party.
Senator Hunkuyi, who spoke on behalf of the APC leaders, said all the guidelines for the delegates’ election were breached.
He said the group had written to the national secretariat of APC, asking it to set aside the purported delegates election and announce new date for the exercise.
The Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Abah Agyole, who visited the NUJ secretariat later, pledged that Police will apprehend the perpetrators.
According to him, the DPO had briefed him on the incident, claiming that the thugs had identified themselves as journalists before they were allowed into the premises.
Agyole said investigation will commence immediately and those found wanting would be prosecuted. Reacting to the incident, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State condemned the attack in a statement and directed security agencies to beef up security at the NUJ secretariat.
The statement, signed by Samuel Aruwan, the governor’s spokesman, said nobody will be allowed to stifle freedom of expression.
The statement read in part: “Having been briefed on the situation, the governor expressed sympathy with NUJ and the persons that were harassed by the hoodlums.
The governor directed that the security agencies should investigate and take necessary action against the hoodlums.
“Politics should not be a desperate game. And desperation should not be visited on journalists or any citizen.
“The government of Kaduna State will not tolerate any attempt to muzzle the press and innocent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.”