The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Imo Council, has condemned the weekend brutal attack on some journalists in Owerri by officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and NSCDC.
This is contained in a statement signed by the state NUJ Chairman, Mr Innocent Igwe, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Owerri.
The statement criticised what the council described as unwarranted, excessive and abusive use of force by the officers involved.
It viewed the incident and the brutality meted on the journalists as uncalled for and profoundly embarrassing.
According to the council, the officers of FRSC and NSCDC on vehicle check threw caution to the winds simply because the journalists appealed to them to release a car carrying a woman in labour to the hospital in order to avert a possible human casualty.
“Journalists in Imo have maintained excellent working relationship with the security agencies particularly the FRSC and the Civil Defence.
“It is worrisome and of serious concern that some officers of these agencies could throw caution to the wind in such a minor incident,” the statement said.
It called on the two agencies to investigate the incident thoroughly and take necessary measures to forestall any reoccurrence.
The council described the attack as unfortunate, noting that the journalists were brutalised by those paid by the state to protect them.
Officials of the NSCDC in the state on Saturday manhandled three reporters of AIT, Silverbird and Channels Television who intervened for a helpless woman.
The officials had shot sporadically at the journalists who tried to protect the woman on emergency after an official of FRSC had allegedly demanded a bribe from her husband who was rushing her to the hospital citing expired license as his offence.
The Silverbird reporter, Mr Nnamdi Ofonye, and his colleagues in Channels Tv, Mr Eyitope Kuteyi, and Mr Obioma Oburuoga of AIT, had pleaded that the motorist be allowed to take his bleeding wife to the hospital.