Journalist Monitoring Labour Strike In Abia, Attacked, Injured By Bank Security

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Emmanuel Nwazue, Abia State Bureau Chief of Afia TV, was attacked and assaulted on Monday by two security guards attached to a First City Monument Bank branch on Akanu Ibiam Way (Bank Road) in Umuahia while monitoring the compliance of the indefinite strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress.

Nwazue, who confirmed the attack to our correspondent on Monday said he was interviewing a respondent by the roadside in front of the bank when the two guards approached him to find out why he was speaking with the respondent.

He said that explanations that he is a journalist and had deliberately stepped away from capturing their building fell on deaf ears. He added that since the interview was stopped by the guards he decided to leave, to look for another respondent to make up for the two that he already had.

Nwazue further explained that while he was trying to leave the scene the guards insisted that he must hand over his camera to them, which led to the guards attacking and injuring him.

He said, “I was monitoring the effect and level of compliance to the nationwide strike action embarked on by the Labour unions in the country when I encountered a young man at the FCMB gate, obviously feeling frustrated.

“I approached him and requested to interview him about his experiences with the industrial action, he obliged, and I took him aside towards the tree close to the pedestrian walkway. This was to ensure that my lens did not capture the bank’s building—but then, its signboard was within view just as that of another bank was in view—to drive home the environmental picture.

“Midway into the interview with my respondent who said he came from Obowo in Imo State to obtain bank services in Umuahia, a man who later said he was the bank’s CSO came with another guy and disrupted the interview.

“My introduction and explanations that we deliberately stepped away from capturing their building fell on deaf ears. So, we couldn’t continue with the interview and I decided to leave, to look for another respondent to make up for the two that I already had. These two guys stood in my way! They said I could not leave until I handed them my camera. To me, this was pushing an unfunny joke too far.

“Being mindful of my camera and other attached gadgets dangling from my neck, I made to force my way out, and both of them began to hit me, while I was protecting my camera and barely had any free hand to retaliate, the younger one in a blue security uniform pushed me hardly and I fell on the busy road and nearly got crushed by an oncoming vehicle, except for the quick intervention of some eyewitnesses who helped me out of the way. Of course, with the fall, my camera fell too, and some damage has been recorded.

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My wife, and a few friends who have been conversant with my medical condition in the last two years and came to my help after I had spent over a million naira treating lumber spondylosis, knew what I went through not being able to walk or sit for months.

“Now, having been forcefully pushed down and Ianding on my waist, these guys have reawoken the pains that made me live on very expensive painkillers each day of the week. Aside from that, I now have a dislocated ankle that has made it very difficult for me to walk”.

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