Ebonyi Governor Threatens Journalists Over Negative Reports, Ban 2 For Life

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The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi has warned journalists in the state to avoid negative reports or incur the wrath of his government and the people.

He added that his government has “koboko” (horsewhip) and would not hesitate to use it on any journalist that flouts the directive.

Umahi stated this after banning two journalists, Mr. Chijoke Agwu of the Daily Sun and Mr. Peter Okutu of the Vanguard Newspapers, for life.

The governor said that the two were forbidden from entering the Government House or covering any state function.

Umahi had ordered the arrest of Agwu for a report on Lassa Fever in the state but later granted his release.

Okutu was however arrested on the orders of the Chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government, Barr. Clement Odah over a report on the alleged invasion of Umuogodoakpu-Ngbo community in the council by some soldiers on Tuesday.

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In a live broadcast on Wednesday, the governor said, “If you think you have the pen, we have the koboko.

“I want to say that I am very displeased with the president and leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and I am going to cease their allowances for two months, because they have failed to discipline their members.

“Ebonyi State is no longer a dumping ground. Only the other day, Chijioke Agwu (Daily Sun Correspondent) wrote that Lassa Fever is killing Ebonyi people in droves and few days back, Mr Peter Okutu of Vanguard did his own.

“Okutu is fond of degrading Ebonyi State, and I don’t know why my officials have allowed him to continue to do that, because he is not from Ebonyi State.

“I want to ban him for life with Chijioke Agwu. I don’t want to see them anywhere in any Government facility.

“We are not begging you to give us good repor, because the only person that gives good or bad report is God. We are all accountable to him.”

Umahi added, “If you think that Ebonyi State is a dumping ground, try it again.

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“If you think you have the pen, we have the koboko. Let’s leave the court alone.

“Ebonyi people are very angry with the press and let me warn that I won’t be able to control them or know when they unleash mayhem on you if you continue to write to create panic in the State.

“I want you to write it that way, that I said, press in Ebonyi is trying to create another COVID that is more dangerous and that is to create panic in our people.

“The other one wrote that cholera has killed 20 people in Ohaukwu. If you try it again, I may not know when Ebonyians may react. This is important for the NUJ to know.

“If you are an Ebonyi man or lives in Ebonyi and you don’t feel our pains, it is a shame on you. Maybe, the press people claim they are untouchable.

“I have reported to the National President of NUJ, I have reported to State leadership of NUJ and I have reported to the public. Now, the die is cast. May God save us, in the course of time.”

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