- Friday, 29 June 2012
- By Palmer Ogheneyole Nathaniel
Officials of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) acting on the instruction of the Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed, today demolished the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abuja Chapter. An official of the ministry who gave his name as Mr. Bature claiming to be taking orders from the FCT Minister invaded the
Union's premises with battalions of armed Police ordering them to deal decisively with anyone who tried to stop the demolition process.
While the demolition lasted, Bature was said to have screamed at the top of his voice “nobody can stop me from doing my work even if you the media or whatever you call yourself.”
Some photojournalists who tried to take photographs of the demolition were beaten to coma by the overzealous policemen while their cameras were seized.
The Journalists who were later identified as Rotimi Osasona of National Mirror Newspapers and Gbenga Olamikan of the Vanguard, are currently receiving treatment at a private clinic.
The cameras of the duo which was later recovered from the office of the agency were badly damaged with their memories removed.
The NUJ in a statement said the demolition of structures in its premises is an affront on press freedom and abuse of power by officials of the FCDA, stressing that the Council would pursue the matter until justice is served.
Acting Chairman of the Council, Abdulrasheed Abdulkareem, who signed the statement, described the incident as unfortunate and one of the many sad developments against journalists in the country.
Abdulkareem listed items lost in the unfortunate incident to include: six transparent fridges, a four feet Thermocool freezer, a 32 inch LCD set and several plastic chairs and tables. Other items include several crates of drinks, glasses, and stereo set.
The Acting Chairman informed that the Union would pursue for the Development Control to compensate for all that were lost during the demolition while calling for the sanction of the officer who ordered that journalists be