It was a show of shame Tuesday afternoon in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State,
southwest Nigeria as soldiers and men of the State Security Service (SSS)
brazenly brutalised Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s senior media aide, Dr. Festus
Adedayo, reporters, top government functionaries and many other innocent
The incident happened at Lekan Salami Stadium, Mokola, Ibadan during the
visit of Dame Jonathan, the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The First Lady was in the city for a one-day ‘Thank You Visit and Peace
Almost all the reporters that turned up to cover the event got a surprise at
the main gate of the stadium, venue of the event when security agents,
particularly soldiers and SSS men refused them entry without any
The lucky media men that gained access into the stadium were those that came
with Governor Ajimobi and newsmen from Abuja.
The Special Adviser to Governor Ajimobi on Media, Dr. Adedayo, who also
arrived at the same time with the reporters was insulted by the soldiers as
they threatened to beat him up for asking them to grant him and the
reporters entry into the stadium.
The soldiers, who came in on the order of the Federal Government, according
to them, engaged Adedayo in a hot argument and shouted him down with threat
to beat him up if he refused to take their orders.
All explanations that Adedeayo is the head of the media team of the governor
and had to be at the venue fell on deaf ears of the soldiers.
A particularly overzealous military policeman with the name tag: L. Mohammed
blocked Adedayo and the reporters, insisting that they would not be allowed
into the venue except the governor’s aide apologised for looking at them in
the face and challenging them to give a good reason for refusing reporters
After about 30 minutes of altercations, they ordered the reporters to line
After they complied, they still delayed them for another 20 minutes and
rebuffed appeals from commissioners who were also refused entry for several
After their appeals failed to persuade the overzealous security agents, the
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Peter Odetomi,
could no longer cope with the insults and had to turn back in annoyance.
The state’s Chief Judge, Justice Bolajoko Adeniji, Monsurat Sunmonu, speaker
of the Oyo State of House of Assembly, Commissioner for Urban and Physical
Planning, Mrs Atinuke Osikoya, and her Education counterpart, Mrs Adetokinbo
Fayokun, were pushed several times before they were allowed into the
In frustration, they had to speak out angrily before they were allowed into
After another round of appeal, some reporters, including The Nation’s Bisi
Oladele, were allowed in.
But on discovering that some other reporters and photo journalists including
Vanguard’s Dare Fasuba, The Punch’s Akinwale Aboluade, Gbenro Adesina of The
News/PM NEWS, Nigerian Compass’ Sola Adeyemo, were denied entry, Oladele and
his colleagues appealed again to the security agents on behalf of their
colleagues. But the appeal, rather than appease the security agents, angered
At the expiration of three seconds out of the five seconds within which he
ordered him to disappear, Oladele was bundled out like a criminal for daring
to appeal to the overzealous security men to allow his colleagues enter the
The development irked all the reporters at the venue which made them leave
the stadium in protest.
Speaking at the programme which was monitored on the national network
television as it was broadcast live, Ajimobi described the programme as
another Women’s Day given the number of women in attendance as well as the
nobility of the project.
He lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for shunning party sentiment when
considering the welfare of the 36 states.
According to him, “by this visit, you have made a huge deposit into the
emotional account of the peple of Oyo State. The government of President
Goodluck Jonathan is political party neutral when considering the welfare of
the 36 states. Our resolve to partner with the Federal Government still
He also commended Mrs Jonathan for her women empowerment initiative.
Mrs Jonathan thanked the people of the state for their votes in the April
2011 presidential election, pointing that she was proud that voters did not
let her husband down.
She said that the Women for Change and Development Initiative is not a
political party but a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).
Mrs Jonathan further explained that the focus of the NGO is peace.
“I did promise that the administration of President Jonathan will allocate
more political space to the women. This he has faithfully done. Today, I’m
glad to announce that in the history of Nigeria, it is the first time that a
total of 13 women are serving in the cabinet as ministers and special
assistants. This number accounts for 32 percent. I hope that Governor Abiola
Ajimobi will also not be discouraged. Like Oliver Twist, we wish to appeal
to him to give women more positions. This will enable women to have stronger
voice,” she said.
At the event were wives of the Senate President, Mrs Helen David Mark,
female ministers and other female top government functionaries.
- PM News