Tue. May 21st, 2024

 

The Ondo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, has allegedly assaulted the Assistant Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Tayo Ikujuni, during the conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in the state.

The fracas occurred at Ward 9, Eji-Oba High School, Oba-Ile in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State on Saturday, April 20, 2024.

Yusuf-Ogunleye, who confirmed to have harassed Ikujuni and collected his cell phone and threw it away, said: “The journalist failed to produce his identity card when asked.”

Recalling the ordeal, Ikujuni said the commissioner ordered some of his political thugs to seize his Samsung tablet.

He said: “Trouble started at about 11.45 a.m. when I inquired if the electoral materials had arrived since they had started counting.

“Immediately, Yusuf-Ogunleye shouted, ‘who are you? You’re a useless journalist. You’re a stupid journalist. Go away from here’.

“He had to collect my Tecno phone and damage my Samsung tablet and my wristwatch.

“It was the quick intervention of some party chieftains and security personnel that rescued me from the midst of the commissioner’s violently looking thugs.”

Reacting, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State chapter, decried the attack and physical assault on Ikujuni by the commissioner.

The Ondo NUJ Chairman, Leke Adegbite, described the act as barbaric and unacceptable.

Adegbite, in a statement, said the action of the commissioner was uncivilized and called on Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to immediately suspend Yusuf-Ogunleye and launch an investigation into the incident.

He noted: “Ondo NUJ observes with sadness that Mr Yusuf-Ogunleye’s attitude to media professionals was unbecoming of a public office holder.

“We call on Mr Governor, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, to place Mr Saka Ogunleye on indefinite suspension for his physical assault on a senior journalist like Tayo Ikujuni while performing his constitutional roles of monitoring the APC primary.

“We call on the commissioner to replace damaged handset of the journalist and tender unreserved apology to the victim and the media industry.

“We equally direct media houses and professionals to halt the coverage and activities of the commissioner until our demands are met.”

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