Pandemomium broke out at the Nigerian Union of Journalism secretariat in Kaduna state earlier today as thugs said to be within the APC in the state, stormed the secretariat to disrupt a press conference that was being organized by Senator Shehu Sani who represents Kaduna Central in the senate.
Sani and the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai have been at loggerheads over the affairs of the state. Sani is very critical of the manner and style in which the state governor is leading the state. Sani has accused El-Rufai of wanting to hand-pick delegates that would represent the state in the forthcoming party convention.
The thugs destroyed the chairs at the secretariat and injured a journalist who was at the press conference and destroyed his camera.
They also damaged some vehicles within the premises of the secretariat.
Meanwhile Shehu Sani has released a statement regarding the incident. Read the statement shared on his Facebook page below
In Kaduna city, at the NUJ state secretariat today, we held a PRESS conference against attempt by the Governor of Kaduna state and his minions to hijack and destroy the party in the state.The Governor wanted to write names of his boys and send to Abuja as “delegates” for the Party convention. Our position is that delegates must be elected and not selected in line with the party’s guidelines for congresses.Sponsored armed thugs invaded the venue aided by a police officer; they damaged vehicles and attacked innocent persons.They injured a journalist leaving him in the pool of his blood.Present in the press conference was Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, Members of House of reps, Hon Sani Suleiman, Hon Isa Ashiru,Hon Haruna Saeed and other politicians from all the three zones.Our position is unambiguous, we will not tolerate sadism or fascism in our party.Those afraid of elections deserve no place in a democracy.The struggle is our familiar terrain.
The state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has released a statement condemning the attack and has vowed to prosecute all those behind the attack. Read the statement below
Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has said that nobody will be allowed to stifle freedom of expression. In a message to the Kaduna State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, the government condemned the mob action by hoodlums at the premises of the NUJ on Sunday.
Having been briefed on the situation, the governor expressed sympathy with The NUJ and the persons that were harassed by the hoodlums.
The Governor directed that the security agencies should investigate and take necessary action against the hoodlums. The Governor also directed security agencies to beef up security at the NUJ secretariat to protect journalists doing their duty.
A statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, spokesman to the Governor said that “the media must not be hindered from carrying out their constitutional and professional obligations. The government of Kaduna State upholds the principles of free speech and respects the freedom of expression.
“Politics should not be a desperate game. And desperation should not be visited on journalists or any citizen.”
Aruwan added that the government of Kaduna State will not tolerate any attempt to muzzle the press and innocent citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.