Four journalists attacked by hoodlums during the just concluded Anambra State Governorship Election in Okija, Ihiala Local Government Area while carrying out their legitimate duty have appealed for compensation.
They pleaded with the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, the Governor-Elect, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mamoud Yakub and other well meaning individuals to come to their aid.
It would be recalled that some journalists,Afam Aminu Chimezie of the Business News Newspaper, Gloria Anaeze of the Daily Independent Newspaper, Eche Nwaobasi also of the Daily Independent and National Light Correspondent for Onitsha, Chike Ifedi and three Election observers nearly lost their lives while covering the exercise.
One of the victims, Afam Aminu Chimezie of Business News Newspaper who is still recovering from the unfortunate nightmare, recalled how they were attacked by some hoodlums numbering about 20 on the election day.
He said, “As we were returning from the residence of one of the illustrious sons of Okija Community we ran into a barricade mounted by the hoodlums whose sole purpose was to exploit us financially.
“The hoodlums who we suspected were members of the community were carrying matchetes, pistol, sticks and other dangerous weapons.
“However, initially we didn’t take them serious until one of them hit me with the matchete he was brandishing before us and took away our handsets, money and other valuables.
“We would have been burnt alive in the vehicle if we had attempted to resist them.That was why we complied to let go our handsets and money.”
Also speaking, Gloria Anaeze of Daily Independent she was still in shock since after the incident, regretting that she and her colleagues had been abandoned after the unfortunate incident.
“We plead with the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, the Governor-Elect, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mammoud Yakubu and other well meaning individuals to come to our rescue,” she said.
Eche Nwaobasi of Daily Independent lamented that he was attacked while on active duty to ensure that a free and fair election was conducted through his reportage.
He said as patriots, they would continue to work for a better Nigeria and called on well meaning individuals not to abandon them, just as he encouraged his colleagues not to be deterred by the incident, but to continue to perform their duties as courageous journalists.