The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Nasarawa State has received with shock the news of a vicious attack on the State Correspondent of Daily Trust Newspaper, Hir Joseph right in front of Governor Tanko Almakura during his swearing-in ceremony at Lafia Square.
A statement by Emmanuel Yero Secretary ,APGA said “Nasarawa StateWe have gathered that a top APC member and close aide of Al-Makura had earlier warned Hir Joseph that his life was under threat for daring to report on the alleged infighting in the Nasarawa APC between Al-Makura and Senator Abdullahi Adamu on one hand and Gen. Aboki on the other, over who becomes the next speaker of the State Assembly.
“Al-Makura was said to be infuriated by the independent way Hir Joseph has been filing his report and allegedly ordered the wicked attack on Mr. Hir Joseph who has been under intense watch by Almakura’s attack dogs because of his indepth and investigative reports on the state government in recent times.
“APGA has been informed that four other correspondents are under similar threats as Mr. Hir Joseph.
The statement said further “We state clearly that these inhumane attacks show that Nasarawa state has descended into total anarchy under Governor Tanko Almakura’s regime, which has presided over the destruction of several towns and villages all over the state were mercenaries have killed thousands of people through the years.
“It is disheartening that Hir Joseph was beaten to a pulp just about three meters away from where Governor Al-Makura was seated during the occasion, but for the intervention of his fellow colleagues, he could have been killed.
“APGA in Nasarawa State strongly and totally condemns the cruelty, barbarism and anarchy on the Trust Correspondent and describes it as an assault on press freedom and democracy. It was disturbing that while the newly inaugurated President Buhari was assuring the media of his cooperation in his inaugural speech, Al-Makura, the only CPC governor elected under the watch of Buhari in 2011, stood apart with aloof dignity when a journalist was pummeled on his orders right in front of him by hired thugs.
APGA said “this is an indication that the media, particularly in Nasarawa State, have their rights abridged by the highly intolerant, unpopular and repressive APC regime of Al-Makura, under who’s watch, hundreds of towns and villages were completely destroyed by mercenaries with thousands of death recorded.
“Only recently, over 70 persons in Tiv communities in Nasarawa State were hunted down and slaughtered by mercenaries for allegedly refusing to vote for Al-Makura in the April 11 governorship election. The Tivs have come under pressure for not supporting Al-makura.
“ Hir Joseph is also Tiv from Benue State.
“This gives us worry as to whether the media will enjoy the same freedom they have enjoyed since this democratic dispensation.
“Everybody is aware of the massive destruction that has taken place in the four years under Governor Almakura’s leadership.
“It is this kind of conduct by Gov. Al-makura and his government that made it impossible for Buhari to win election in Nasarawa state in 2015 even though it’s the only CPC state won by Gen Buhari in 2011!
“No wonder the people of Nasarawa massively rejected him as their governor in the last elections which he and his government manipulated to thwart the popular will of Nasarawa state people
We advise the APC in Nasarawa State and the Al-Makura regime to always approach the law courts for redress whenever they feel their rights have been abused by the media instead of resorting to self-help through the criminal enterprise of acquiring the services of thugs to beat up a journalist for carrying out his lawful duty.
We call on the Nigeria Union of Journalists, civil society organizations, and the National Human Rights Commission to urgently launch an investigation into the attack on the Daily Trust correspondent in Lafia, Hir Joseph who was taken unconscious to the Emergency Unit of the Lafia Specialist hospital in Nasarawa State.
We call on President Buhari to look into Nasarawa state and its descent into anarchy under Governor Almakura’s rule.
APGA sympathizes with all journalists in Nasarawa state and assures them that they will find in us a partner in the struggle to preserve press freedom and the rights of all citizens of Nigeria to live and work in Nasarawa state free of molestation.
We call on Governor Almakura to withdraw the thugs that have been destroying the life and community of Nasarawa state in the last four years.No tags for this post.