“They grabbed and smashed my handset” | Journalists recount how they were harassed by soldiers in Abia

Some journalists have narrated how they were maltreated by soldiers at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat in Abia.

The soldiers had invaded the NUJ office in Umuahia, the state capital, during an operation in the area.

According to the journalists, about 20 soldiers invaded the secretariat, manhandled two journalists and destroy their gadgets.

The State correspondent of The Oracle Today, Bonny Okoro said the soldiers drove in a convoy.

“While I was peeping through the window, I noticed that two trucks suddenly stopped around the tower, while no fewer than 20 armed men jumped out and headed for our office,” he said.

“Before we knew what was happening, they had invaded the NUJ hall, accosted me and demanded to have my cell phone.

“I told them that I did not have my handset on me. One of them gave me a slap, seized my bag, from where he took out my Samsung tablet and smashed it on the ground.

“Another one also stamped his booth on the screen, while another hit the nozzle of his rifle on it, smashing it beyond repairs.”

Sunny Nwakanma, correspondent of Daily Times who was also affected, said his handset was destroyed by the soldiers.

He said they accosted him as he retreated from the balcony into the hall, “grabbed my handset and smashed it”.

John Emejor, chairman of the state council of NUJ, described the attack as “a desecration of the hallowed chambers of journalists in the state”.

He said “it is unheard of that journalist who are rendering selfless service to humanity and the nation, including the military, should be a target for military attack”.

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