Anger as police beat up journalist in Akwa Ibom
A journalist with the Akwa Ibom State Broadcasting Corporation attached to the State House of assembly, Mr. Samuel Ayara, was on Wednesday allegedly assaulted by policemen in the complex.
The policeman who allegedly initiated the assault, Sunday Agada, is attached to a lawmaker representing Ikot Abasi State Constituency, Mr. Uduak Udoudo.
While Ayara was attacked with tear gas, other policemen allegedly gathered around Ayara and used the butts of their guns to hit him.
The attack created panic, as people ran helter-skelter to avoid being affected by the teargas.
“I was going round the offices of some of lawmakers at about 12.30pm to interact with their wives who came to celebrate Valentine with their husbands. When I was in front of the office of the member representing Ikot Abasi State constituency, Mr. Uduak Udoudo, one of his security details shouted at me saying, ‘Who are you and where do you think you are going to?’
“I asked him why he yelled at me and if that was how he addressed people. Almost immediately, policemen numbering about 10 gathered around me and started beating me. Some hit me with the butts of their guns and another released a tear gas canister on my face.
“Afterwards, none of the policemen apologised to me. I am an asthmatic patient and the tear gas is dangerous to my health,” he said.
The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr. Ime Okon, when contacted, said the issue had not been reported to him.
He said, “The issue has not been brought to my notice. I am not aware.”
The state Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. Patrick Albert, condemned the assault and said he would investigate and meet with the Speaker on the issue.
He said, “The assault on Ayara is condemnable. We cannot continue to condone a situation where our members are constantly molested while carrying out their duties.” Punch