– Describes them as partners in building the State
Following ban on two journalists in Ebonyi State, Governor David Umahi has apologised to journalists in the state for banning two of their colleagues.
Governor Umahi has banned them from entering government house and nearing government facilities for life following a report on the state.
Recall that Governor Umahi banned Chijioke Agwu, the state correspondent of Daily Sun and his Vanguard counterpart, Peter Okutu ‘for life’ following their reports which did not go down well with the state government.
Umahi, on Tuesday apologised during a broadcast to the people of the state on the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor, who pleaded that the journalists join him in building the state, described them as ‘partners.’
The government, however said the two reports were capable of causing panic and tension as well as violence in the state.
The two journalists were arrested, interrogated and released by the police in the state which sparked off condemnations from associations including the National leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), International Press Council (IPC), Media Right Agenda (MRA), among others.
According to the governor in the broadcast, “in my earlier speeches, I had said that the unfortunate incident with the press was not intentional but I think we are all here to build the state and so, I am asking everybody to disregard whatever that happened and see press as our partners in progress and let us work together.
“We advise them to please crosscheck information because I hear more than you hear. There are certain write-ups that people are sad about and that is why I said please, let everybody come together. As a father, you beat a child with one hand, you bring him back with the other hand.
“I believe strongly that if anybody intentionally wants to pull you down, he can’t pull you down standing. He will also go down with you and he may even rise ahead of you and the single way to succeed in life is to be happy with success.
“So, I want to invite the press on partnership and also ask them to please help us to build the state. Nobody said you should not report the truth, but don’t report false against us because we know our people as a state is peculiar, little thing will trigger off a lot of tension”