The Chairman of Uvwie Local Government Council, Delta State, Mr Ramson Onoyake has bowed and apologised to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), for the attack on a news crew of Delta Broadcasting Service DBS, Warri, at the Effurun market.
This apology comes after the Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS), Warri Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Radio Television, Theatre and Art Workers Union, (RATTAWU), DBS Warri Chapter, condemned in strong terms the unwarranted harassment, beating and manhandling of two of their members.
Comrade Linus Chima and John Osuji were beaten by five thugs recruited by an official of Effurun Market on Wednesday, 15th April, while on an official assignment to monitor compliance with the COVID-19 stay at home directives.
The Unions in a joint statement by the Chairmen of the NUJ DBS Warri Chapel, Comrade Sonia Unobunjo and RATTAWU DBS Warri Chapter, Comrade Isaac Oboh, described the attack of the two staff of DBS Warri by the thugs as barbaric, inhuman, wicked, primitive and unthinkable.
The Unions stated that the attack on their members by the thugs from Uvwie Local Government Area was intended to frustrate them from carrying out their duties, as members of staff of the station had earlier reported similar attacks from the area in recent times.
They therefore demanded the Chairman of Uvwie Local Government, Mr. Ramson Onoyake, to tender an unreserved apology to the NUJ and RATTAWU DBS Warri and members of staff of the establishment for the barbaric behaviour of an official of the Effurun market and his thugs, else all publicity regarding the council and its activities will be halted.
The Unions further called for the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the Effurun Market official who claimed to be the market master, and his thugs that attacked their members.
They also asked the council chairman to warn officers directly or indirectly working with the council to stop subsequent harassment of staff of D85 Warri.
Both Unions stressed that they will not succumb to any form of intimidation of their members in the discharge of their constitutional responsibility, particularly from security agents while monitoring the level of compliance of the stay-at-home order and other directives by the Delta State Government.
In an apology note and for respect of the group, Mr Ramson Onoyake also condemned the attack on the DBS Warri news crew at the Effurn market by those he termed “miscreants”.
After days of foot-dragging, Mr Onoyake went to the Edjeba premises of DBS Warri on Monday, 20th April, with his lawyer, where he met with the leaderships of both unions in the office of the Acting General Manager, Mr Malcolm Oteri, to apologise and resolve the matter.
Onoyake described the attack as barbaric and unwarranted, saying investigations were ongoing and promised that those behind it will be fished out and made to face the law.
The Uvwie Council boss also assured staff of DBS Warri and other pressmen of their safety in the council Area.
Confirming the resolution of the matter, Chairman of NUJ, DBS Warri Chapel, Comrade Sonia Unobunjo and that of RATTAWU DBS Warri Chapter, Comrade Isaac Oboh, said the unions have accepted the apology of Mr Ramson Onoyake, urging him to take measures to halt unprovoked attack on journalists by the people of Uvwie while carrying out their legitimate duties.
Mr. Onoyake accepted responsibility for the attack on the DBS Warri news crew and tendered unreserved apology to the NUJ DBS Warri Chapel.