Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta state.

Kelvin Peter, Warri.

Overzealous task force on environmental sanitation in Delta state have assaulted and tortured the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ, Delta state council and another journalist.

It was gathered that the task force on environment attacked and assaulted the state chairman of the NUJ, Delta state council, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu and another journalist, Matthew Omonigho, in Uvwie local government area of Delta state.

The journalists were monitoring the level of compliance on social distance order of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

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The journalists were attacked along Otiotio street in Uvwie local government area.

The NUJ Chairman had approached the environment task force who had forced residents of Otiotio street out of their houses to come out for environmental sanitation against the stay at home order of the governor.

The task force on environment led by one Kingsley Iweka ordered his men who were more than 20 in number to pounce on the NUJ Chairman and the Daily Post Correspondent whose photo camera was destroyed in the process.

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The task force detained the NUJ chairman and his colleague for about 45 minutes before chairman of the task force on environmental sanitation, Delta state, Mr. Syvelster Oromoni, phoned and ordered their release.

In a chat with Our Correspondent, Comrade Ikeogwu said “journalists are not safe in Delta state”.

“I wondered what will become of the ordinary man in the society if government officials could attack and assault me and my colleague even after identifying myself as the number one journalist in the state”.

“The incident is uncalled for, unwarranted and condemnable, I wonder why the task force would be working in contravention to the order of the governor.”

“Today is not environmental sanitation. Why should a task force constituted for environmental sanitation come out on a day that people were asked to stay at home to enforce environmental sanitation?”

“Their order was further endangering the lives of the people as it contravenes the social order of the Governor. That. Was why I intervened to stop them from what they were doing. But they claimed that the order was from their Chairman.

“I am disappointed at the attitude of the leader of the team having after introduced myself to him he ordered his boys to attack me and my colleague. I wish to call on the State Governor to look into this matter because many people will fall victim of this before the end of the lockdown order.

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“It was the residents of the area who called us to come and see what is happening. How they were being forced to come and do environmental sanitation. However, I thank God it didn’t go beyond that. I will go and treat myself because I was attacked.”

Residents of the area who spoke after the altercation between the NUJ chairman and the task force condemned the acts.

One of the residents simply identified as Mohammed said, ”We were forced out of our houses. If you say No, they will beat and arrest you. That’s why I came out like other people for this sanitation.“