Okowa And The Journalist Factor

By Julius Oweh, Asaba
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If you are a journalist and interested in practicing the profession in Asaba, the Delta State capital, you must demonstrate your pro-Okowa views to be admitted into the Government House.

About thirty journalists not in the good book of the Dr Ifeanyi Okowa administration were turned back at the gate of Government House, Asaba, on Wednesday (February 2, 2016) at an interactive session between the media and the governor.

A clearly not too educated man at the Government House gate along Anwai Road with the list of forty favoured journalists was doing the job of turning back anti-Okowa journalists with the active co-operation of the security men at the gate.

This unfriendly media posture is happening a day after the Supreme Court affirmed the victory of the governor.

All entreaties to the government official to allow journalists with their ID cards gain entry into the Government House on fell deaf ears, saying that he was acting under instructions from above.

A text message to the selected forty journalists read thus ` I am directed to invite you to an interactive session between His Excellency Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and selected journalists on Wednesday February 3, 2016 at Press Centre, Government House at 9.30am. Please come with your ID card for identification as admission is strictly by invitation.

When contacted, the chairman of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Delta State chapter, Comrade Nobert Chiazor said the union was not happy with the incident and that the matter would be taken up with the governor.

On his part, the state Commissioner of Information, Patrick Ukah in a text message to this reporter said that it was not true that Okowa was practicing apartheid in the treatment of journalists.

But a veteran journalist in the state, Oghenekaro Akpoyibo said that it was shameful that journalists who are practicing their legitimate business should be deprived access to the Government House, which is owned by the electorate.

Akpoyibo called on Okowa to call his overzealous media aides to order so as not to create publicity problem for him.

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