COVID 19 Lockdown: Delta Govt taskforce officials assault Delta NUJ Chairman, other

By Ovasa Ogaga,

Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Delta State Council, Comrade Mike Ikeogwu

Officials of Delta State Taskforce on Environment, today, assaulted Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Delta State Council, Comrade Mike Ikeogwu and Daily Post Correspondent, Matthew Omonigho who were monitoring the level of compliance on the “Social distance” order of the state governor.


Recall that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa issued an order for a total lockdown of the state as parts of measures to check the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic into Delta State and to also enforce social distance within the state.


Narrating his ordeal, the NUJ Chairman said that he Omonigho had gone out to monitor the level of compliance, and at Otiotio Street in Uvwie Local Government Area, they noticed some residents engaging in sanitation when they are supposed to be indoors.


The NUJ Chairman had approached the Environment Officials who allegedly forced residents of Otiotio Street out of their homes to engage in environmental sanitation against the “Stay at home” order of the governor.


But the Environment taskforce officials led by Kingsley Iweka ordered his team of over 20 men to pounce on the NUJ Chairman and Daily Post Correspondent for daring to interfere in the operation.


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It was gathered that the Environment Taskforce officials also held the NUJ Chairman, Comrade Ikeogwu and his colleague hostage for about 45minutes and it took the swift intervention of the State Chairman of the Environment Taskforce, Mr Syvelster Oromoni, to calm the nerves of his overzealous officers through a telephone call.


Expressing his dissatisfaction at the level of lawlessness displayed by the Environment Taskforce officials who are a law unto themselves, Comrade Ikeogwu wondered what would become of the ordinary man in the society if Government officials could attack and assault him and his colleague even after identifying himself as the number one Journalist in the State.


Ikeogwu also decried the incident as uncalled for, unwarranted and condemnable, wondering why the task force would work in contravention to the order of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.


According to him, “Today is not environmental sanitation. Why should a task force constituted for environmental sanitation come out on a day that people were asked to stay at home to enforce environmental sanitation?


He said, “Their order was further endangering the lives of the people as it contravenes the social order of the Governor. That. Was why I intervened to stop them from what they were doing? But they claimed that the order was from their Chairman.”


“I am disappointed in the attitude of the leader of the team having after introduced myself to him who ordered his boys to attack me and my colleague. I wish to call on the State Governor to look into this matter because many people will fall victim of this before the end of the lockdown order.”


“It was the residents of the area who called us to come and see what happens. How they were being forced to come and do environmental sanitation. However, I thank God it didn’t go beyond that. I go and treat myself because I was attacked.” Ikeogwu stressed.


Some residents of the area who spoke after the altercation between the NUJ Chairman and the Taskforce condemned the acts.

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They said it was not an environmental day just as they wondered why they were forced to come out for sanitation.


One of the residents simply identified as Mohammed said, “We were forced out of our houses. If you say No, they will beat and arrest you. That’s why I came out like other people for the sanitation.”


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