Gov. Okowa’s Aides, Soldiers Ban Journalists, Traditional Rulers, Others From Town Hall Meeting

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Some overzealous security aides attached to the Delta state governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa and men of the 222 battalion acting under instructions banned Journalists from different media houses, traditional rulers and other persons from gaining entry into the governor’s Wednesday town hall meetings (campaigns) for his 2019 second term bid held at the Opute hall, Ozoro, headquarters of Isoko North local council of the state.

Among the journalists that were banned from entering the hall includes, Joel Orerome, The Authority Newspapers, Ovedhe Jerry, National Reformer, Grandball Choice, Urhobo Voice, Newspapers, Sunday Ogbaoyibo, Advocate Newspapers, James Akporero, Publisher of the Isoko Now Newspapers, Christy Ichofu, Publisher of The Mail Newspapers and Ochuko Akuopha, Vanguard Newspapers.

The traditional ruler of Owhe kingdom, His Royal Highness, Romanus Inana (JP) and the 96 years old Odio-Ologbo of Olomoro Kingdom, HRM, Josiah Aghaza I, both of Isoko North and Isoko South local government area of the State as well as some members of Isoko Development Union (IDU), chiefs, artisans, men and youths were among those banned by the governor’s security aides and men of the 222 battalion from entering the hall for the town hall meeting.

The publisher of Isoko Now Newspapers, James Akporero, a lawyer, who was struggling to gain entry into the hall was assaulted by the Army.

After several hours of standing outside hopelessly, chairman of Isoko North council, Mr. Emmanuel Egbabor came out from the hall and smuggled in Ochuko Akuopha of the Vanguard Newspapers while other Journalists despite showing their ID cards were not allowed into the Opute hall to cover the event.

According to one of the security aides, they were acting on the orders given to them not to allow anybody into the hall of the meeting once the governor has arrived.

The Isoko North council boss, Mr. Egbabor also told the crowd gathered at the entrance of the hall that nobody is allowed into the hall because according to him, participants ought to have been seated waited for the governor and not the other way round.

At Oleh civic centre, headquarters of Isoko South local government council, venue for the town hall meeting, the story was the same as the overzealous security aides banned several persons including the 96 years old Odio-Ologbo of Olomoro Kingdom, HRM, Josiah Aghaza I, from entering into the hall because the governor was speaking.

After a while of standing, one of the protocols to governor Okowa, popularly known as Temple brought a chair and gave to the monarch to seat pending when the governor ends his speech.

Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah had before now during chats with newsmen said that the essence of the town hall meeting was for the State governor to present his administration score card for the last two years of his administration and also to brainstorm on other salient issues.

Speaking to HardReporters correspondent, a cross section of some of the persons banned from entering the hall, condemned in strong terms the action of the security aides to the governor and the army.

According to the visibly angry persons, the governor Okowa led administration is nothing but a complete failure, described it as a government built on lies, fraud, deception and corruption and vowed that at the appropriate time the governor shall be shown the way from government house come 2019.

“Okowa government has refused ameliorate the suffering of our people, local government workers and teachers are dying of hunger because he has vehemently refused to pay them their salaries. How can Okowa say his government is not the one owing this people and we asked, who presides over the JAAC. Okowa is a big fraud.” one of the PDP youths among the banned persons said.

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