Election Crisis: Police Shut Rivers NUJ Secretariat

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Police in Rivers State on Thursday, sealed-off the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Port Harcourt.

The development was Sequel to the dissolution of the State Working Committee (SWC) of the Union by the Vice President, Zone F, Pastor Edward Ogude.

The triennial delegates conference of the Union scheduled for Thursday, it was observed, could not hold due to disagreements between supporters of the outgone chairman of the Council, Stanley Job Stanley and his former deputy, Paul Bazia.

Stanley and Bazia are both seeking to be elected as the next chairman of the Council in a scheduled election that was trailed with accusations, counter-accusations as well as petitions.

Speaking, chairman of Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ in the state, Amaechi Okonkwo, described the development that led to the sealing of the secretariat as “unfortunate”.

Said Okonkwo: “What happened today to me was very unfortunate and unpleasant. I feel so ashamed that we who report and analyse how political parties and other organisations conduct their own elections failed woefully in having a peaceful election.

“How can journalists allow simple disagreement over delegates list mar the election now forcing the police to seal their office? Very sad indeed”.

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