Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State condemns in the strongest terms the continuation of the war against the press and media in the State by embattled Governor Hope Uzodinma, with his aides and agents. This Party, therefore, charges the governor to end the attacks, and allow freedom of the press to blossom in Imo State. The call came through a statement signed by Ogubundu Nwadike, the State Publicity Secretary, Imo PDP on June 22, 2021.
The statement states that Imo PDP asserts that the strange insecurity and catastrophically high level of bad leadership and bad governance in Imo State since 2020 demands the intensification of the work of the press and media in the State, to keep the members of the public in steady information and awareness of the running and working of the government, and the colossal failure of the Uzodinma regime. Therefore, instead of intimidating the gentlemen of the press, the regime should device genuine ways of accommodating and encouraging them in the line of their duties and responsibilities to the society. In this era of insecurity, journalists covering events concerning the government should be provided adequate safety and security, and not bullying and bashing them.
This Party received the news with chagrin and consternation, and utterly condemns the attack and manhandling of Mr. Chidiebube Okeoma, The Punch newspaper Correspondent in Imo State, by security operatives attached to Government House, Owerri on reason of his performing his professional duty of covering the peaceful protests by road sweepers in the employ of the Government of Imo State, who recently were protesting for the governor to pay them their salaries which has run into many months of unpaid arrears. Our Party sees nothing wrong with newsmen covering such a significant event.
This Party notes sadly the huge catalogue of incidences of abuses, insults and physical assault and battery visited upon press and media operators and operatives in the State by the current regime since it assumed office. The Party wants a final full stop to be put to all such acts that expose the undemocratic disposition and inclinations of the Uzodinma regime.
This Party feels that beyond the purported apology by the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon Declan Emelumba, to the abused and insulted Okeoma, the governor should expose the perpetrators of such uncivilised conducts in this age and time. The culprits should be duly prosecuted and brought to justice by Governor Uzodimma for hampering and hindering the fourth estate of the realm from performing its constitutionally stipulated duties and responsibilities. Imo PDP urges all to whom it may concern to allow freedom of the press to be upheld and practised in Imo State.