Newspaper vendors in Akwa Ibom State under the aegis of the Newspaper Distributors Association of Nigeria, NDAN, have flayed the bare-face harassment and assault meted on their colleague by former Senator, Anietie Okon.
Rising from their emergency meeting in Uyo, the vendors condemned the rising clampdown orchestrated by desperate politicians on media workers in the State and called on the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Solomon Arase, to intervene.
According to a statement issued at the end of its meeting the President of NDAN in the state, Mr Bright Ewoh, recalled that one of his members, Ndifreke Etim, was seriously manhandled and labeled as a thief by the ex-Senator.
The drama, according to NDAN chief, took place outside the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Uyo, where politicians and friends of government gathered to install the paramount ruler of Ibeno Local Government Area, Owong Effiong Achianga, as the next Council of Chiefs’ chair in the state.
He recalled that, “soon after the swearing-in ceremony, Senator Okon came out of the Banquet Hall to enter his vehicle and later beckoned on the vendor to come.
“Thinking the Senator wanted to buy the papers, the vendor ran to him, but met with heavy reprimand from the former Senator from Itu Local Government Area, who represented the Uyo Senatorial District during the Ibrahim Babangida’s era of diarchy in 1992,” it said.
Narrating his ordeal, Etim lamented that the ex-Senator “came out of his car and began to pounce on me, alleging that I removed money from his pocket.”
Several pleas from other vendors and passersby, it was learnt, could not pacify the former federal lawmaker as he was hell bent on physically assaulting the vendor until some law enforcement agents rescued the victim from the tight grip of the Itu politician.
It therefore demanded an open apology to the assaulted media worker and the vendors’ body for such misdemeanour, warning that, should the former Senator shun their demand, the vendors would not hesitate to drag him to court.
Ewoh, who said the matter, was already before the courts of some rights groups and other public spirited associations in Nigeria, enjoined well meaning Nigerians to rise against such public display of arrogance by politicians with no regard for public conduct.

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