All Progressives Congress, APC-led government in Oyo State, yesterday continued its hostility against the media as it declared journalists in the state as security risks.
Consequently, security agents attached to the office of Governor Abiola Ajimobi denied them access into the building.
At the entrance to the Governor’s Office, the security agents displayed their anger against the men of the Fourth Estate of the Realm when they harassed and refused the newsmen entry to the secretariat to cover the activities of the government.
Also at the State Secretariat’s gate, security men brandished a list of accredited and non-accredited journalists by the Ajimobi administration. The security operatives claimed that they were acting on the orders of the Special Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Segun Abolarinwa. Abolarinwa was the security adviser in the last cabinet which the governor had long dissolved.
Among the journalists who were threatened before they were sent back yesterday were Mrs. Abiola Olowe from Voice of Nigeria, VON: Mr. Boye Ajayi, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN; Rotimi Agboluaje of The Union Newspapers and Mr. Aanu Omorinde from MITV.
Though, the state APC Chairman, Chief Akin Oke, said the governor could not have given such directive, it seems there is communication breakdown as Mr. Abolarinwa insisted that no journalist comes into the premises except the ones on the list.
After showing the security men their identity cards, they directed the journalists to one Mr. Abiodun Akinkunle from the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State who allegedly hatched plans to fence-off other newsmen from the premises.
Mr. Wale Shadare, the APC Director of Publicity, who confirmed the clampdown on the media, said in a statement that, “a situation where every Tom, Dick and Harry who calls himself or herself a journalist is allowed free entry and stay around the Governor’s Office and within the premises of the Agodi Government Secretariat is risky, even to genuine news hunters, especially in view of the prevailing security challenges in the country.”
“Therefore, it is expedient on every media organisation to reach out to the relevant officers in the Governor’s Office to perfect the accreditation process required of their representatives without any fear of discrimination or denial of their statutory rights.”