EXTRA: Umahi bars two journalists from state functions ‘for life’

David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, has barred two journalists — Chikoke Agwu and Peter Okutu — from entering the government house or any government facility in the state.

Agwu is a correspondent of The Sun Newspaper while Okutu works for Vanguard.

Speaking during a live broadcast on Wednesday, Umahi said the ban is for life. He alleged that the two journalists were fond of writing bad reports about the state.

The governor said he was displeased with the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) “for failing to discipline their members”, adding that as punishment, he would seize their allowances for two months.


He said people of the state are “very angry” with the press, saying he would be unable to control them when they decide to “unleash mayhem on journalists if they continue to create panic in the state”.

“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 seize their allowances for two months because they have failed to discipline their members,” Umahi said.

“Ebonyi State is no longer a dumping ground. Only the other day, Chijioke Agwu wrote that Lassa Fever is killing Ebonyi people in droves, and a 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 reports, because the only person that gives good or bad reports is God. If you think that Ebonyi state is a dumping ground, try it again.

“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 live 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 the State leadership of NUJ and I have reported to the public. Now, the die is cast. May God save us, at this time.”

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