Ondo APC Primary: Commissioner assaults NAN journalist

The Ondo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, on Saturday allegedly assaulted Tayo Ikujuni, an Assistant Deputy Editor-in-Chief, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), during the conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary in the state.

The fracas happened at Ward 9, Eji-Oba High School, Oba-Ile in Akure North Local Government Area of the state.

Yusuf-Ogunleye, who confirmed to have harassed Ikujuni and collected his cell phone and threw it away, said “the journalist failed to produce his identity card when asked.

Recalling the ordeal, Ikujuni said that the commissioner ordered some of his political thugs to seize his Samsung tablet.

“Trouble started at about 11.45am when I inquired if the electoral materials had arrived, since they had started counting.

“Immediately, Yusuf-Ogunleye shouted, “who are you. You’re a useless journalist. You’re a stupid journalist. Go away from here.

“He had to collect my Tecno phone, and damaged my Samsung tablet and my wrist watch.

“It was the quick intervention of some party chieftains and security personnel that rescued me from the midst of the commissioner’s violently looking thugs,” Ikujuni said.

Reacting, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ondo State Council, decried the attack and physical assault on Ikujuni by the commissioner.

Its chairman,  Leke Adegbite, said the act was barbaric and unacceptable.

In a statement, Adegbite said the action of the commissioner was uncivilised, and called on Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa to immediately suspend Yusuf-Ogunleye and launch an investigation into the incident.

“Ondo NUJ observes with sadness that Mr Yusuf-Ogunleye’s attitude to media professionals was unbecoming of a public office holder.

“We call on Mr Governor, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa to place Mr Saka Ogunleye on indefinite suspension for his physical assault on a senior journalist like Tayo Ikujuni while performing his constitutional roles of monitoring the APC primary.

“We call on the commissioner to replace the damaged handset of the journalist and tender an unreserved apology to the victim and the media industry.

“We equally direct media houses and professionals to halt the coverage and activities of the commissioner until our demands are met.” 

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