Officials of Delta State Taskforce on Environment, on Wednesday, attacked and assaulted the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Delta State Council, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, as well as DAILY POST Correspondent, Matthew Omonigho.
The duo were monitoring the level of compliance on the social distancing and stay-at-home order of Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa with respect to the Coronavirus pandemic at Otiotio Street in Uvwie Local Government Area when they were attacked.
The NUJ Chairman had approached the officials who had forced residents of Otiotio Street out of their houses to come out for environmental sanitation against the “Stay at home” order of the governor.
But, the Environmental Officials led by Kingsley Iweka ordered his team who were over twenty in number to pounce on the NUJ Chairman and his colleague just as they destroyed his Nikon D3100 photo-camera.
The Environmental Taskforce Officials also held the NUJ Chairman, Comrade Ikeogwu and his colleague hostage for about 45 minutes.
However, it took the swift intervention of the State Chairman of the Environmental Taskforce, Mr. Syvelster Oromoni, to calm the nerves of his overzealous officers through a telephone call.
He wondered what will 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 taskforce would be working in contravention to the order of Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa.
“Today is not environmental sanitation. Why should a taskforce constituted for environmental sanitation come out on a day that people were asked to stay at home to enforce environmental sanitation?
” 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 was happening. How they were being forced to come and do environmental sanitation. However, I thank God it didn’t go beyond that. I will go and treat myself because I was injured.”
Some residents of the area who spoke after the altercation between the NUJ Chairman and the Taskforce condemned the acts.
They said it was not environmental day just as they wondered why they were forced to come out for sanitation.
One of the residents who simply identified himself 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. ”
In a telephone chat with the Chairman of the Delta State Environment Taskforce, Mr. Syvelster Oromoni, said they gave the order for the announcement for people to clear their environment.
He also appealed that we should forget whatever may have happened between us and the taskforce.
Email us @ info[at]nigerians.news