APC Primary: Ondo Commissioner Assaults Journalist As NUJ Calls For His Suspension

APC Primary: Ondo Commissioner Assaults Journalist As NUJ Calls For His Suspension
  • PublishedApril 20, 2024

A senior reporter with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Tayo Ikujuni, was physically assaulted by Ondo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, during the conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary on Saturday.

The ugly incident occurred at Eji-Oba High School, Oba-Ile, the venue of the Ward 9 election in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State.

The Commissioner was said to have reportedly punched the reporter, collected his cell phone, and threw it away.

His political thugs were also ordered to seize all the electronic gadgets belonging to the reporter.

According to an eyewitness, trouble started at about 11.45 when the reporter inquired about when the election materials arrived since they had started counting.

The commissioner shouted, “Who are you. You’re a useless journalist. You’re a stupid journalist. Go away from here,” the eyewitness said.

He noted that it took the timely intervention of some party chieftains and security personnel to prevent political thugs from further attacking the reporter.

The commissioner, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, when contacted, said that the reporter failed to produce his identity cards when he was asked.

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State Council, has described the attack and physical assault on the senior journalist by the commissioner as “barbaric and unacceptable”.

In a statement, the state chairman of the union, Prince Leke Adegbite, said the action of the Commissioner was uncivilised and called on Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to immediately suspend Mr. Saka Ogunleye and launch an investigation into the incident.

“Ondo NUJ observes with sadness that Mr Ogunleye’s attitude to media professionals was unbecoming of a public office holder.

“We call on Mr. Governor, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, to place Mr. Saka Ogunleye on indefinite suspension for his physical assault on a senior journalist like Tayo Ikujunni while performing his constitutional role of monitoring the APC primaries.

“We call on the Commissioner to replace the damaged handset of the journalist and tender an unreserved apology to the victim and the media industry.

“We equally direct Media Houses and professionals to halt the coverage and activities of the Commissioner until our demands are met.”

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