The Igbo youth organization, Ohanaeze Youth Council(OYC), has reacted to the ban on the correspondent of Sun Newspaper, Chijioke Agwu and Vanguard Newspaper, Peter Okutu, by Governor Dave Umahi-led government in Ebonyi state.
DAILY POST recalls that Governor Dave Umahi, had on Wednesday, banned the Sun and Vanguard Newspaper, correspondents from entering Government House and government facilities in the State for life.
Umahi banned the reporters after their reports on the outbreak of Lassa Fever in the state was published.
But, OYC, in a press release signed by it’s President, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro and forwarded to our correspondent on Thursday, described the Ebonyi Governor’s action as an attempt to disrupt the freedom of the press and urged the authorities to toe the path of law while handling sensitive issues.
Ohanaeze appealed to Umahi to pardon and direct the release of both Mr Peter Okutu of Vanguard and Chijioke Agwu of Sun Newspaper, as the news of their arrests would destroy the good works and the integrity he had built across the country
The youth group cautioned journalists against disseminating news report that will destroy the fragile peace Igbo people enjoy in the South-East zone and further advised pressmen to co-operate with the leaders of the zone towards addressing the myriads of problems impeding its development,
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned the blatant intimidation, harassment and attacks on journalists and media houses by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.
SERAP on Wednesday also condemned the ban on the correspondents from the government house.
SERAP, in a statement by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said the action is a blatant violation of the right to freedom of expression and media freedom as guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and the country’s international obligations including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.
“We will pursue appropriate legal action nationally and internationally against Ebonyi State authorities if this illegality is not reversed within 48 hours of the publication of this statement”.