Why I flogged Bayelsa Radio staff – Manager

by Dolapo Adelana

The General Manager, Radio Bayelsa, John Idumange on Friday said he flogged four union leaders of the station in self-defence.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa he said the incident occurred on Monday after the union leaders shut down the FM station operated by the state government.

Idumange, said the union was working against his reforms aimed at repositioning the broadcast outfit.

“At about 7.20 p.m on Monday, the day RATTAWU and NUJ embarked on strike, I heard voices near my window.

“So I went out to see what was happening. I saw four persons, one of them a lady.

“I could recognise Tonye Yemoleigha, one of the union leaders, who was in white shirt. I asked why they were there after chasing away all the workers,” he said.

According to him, “Tonye stood up and asked if the compound belonged to me. At that point I discovered he was ready for a fight but I did not bulge.

“He brought his hands near my eyes so I blocked it. I had learnt Karate years back. One of them threw a chair at me and they all rushed to fight me. I had to fight back in self-defence.

“They could have beaten me up but my Karate skills rescued me,” he said.

Idumange, who was appointed on Dec. 6, 2016, claimed that he recently uncovered a N5.7 million fraud and redeployed some staff.

“The transferred workers have been meeting with them at NUJ Centre, they benefitted from the corruption and are fighting back,” Idumange said.

In his reaction, the NUJ Chairman in Radio Bayelsa, Mr Tonye Yemoleigha, said the incident has been reported at the Ekeki Police Division.

“Four of us, myself and three staff were flogged by Idumange himself. The report that it was thugs is inaccurate. It was the general manager himself that attacked and beat us up.

“We have reported the matter to the Ekeki Police Division and sought medical attention at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.

“Workers have been constantly intimidated and threatened for no just cause.

“Mr John Angese, Bayelsa Council Chairman of NUJ who is a staff of Radio Bayelsa, has also been threatened with a sack.

“We are all being victimised for insisting that the General Manager complies with Public Service Rules.

“We have been under siege since he was appointed on Dec. 6, 2016. We are not opposed to repositioning the station which is in our interest, but we want the procedure to follow due process,” Yemoleigha said.

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