Saturday January 7, 2023
Some political thugs who are loyal to the lawmaker representing Ibadan North State Constituency II in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Adebayo Babajide Gabriel, on Saturday morning attacked a journalist along Sango-Poly Road in Ibadan.
According to the journalist, Mr. Oladapo Ibikunle, who is the Chairman of the Oyo State House of Assembly Correspondents and also the publisher of an online news platform, Penangle.com, the lawmaker’s thugs tried to overtake him as he was coming from University of Ibadan and driving towards the the Ibadan Polytechnic Road.
Narrating ordeal to his colleagues in a press statement he posted on Oyo State NUJ platform, Mr. Ibikunle said he tried to give way for the lawmaker’s convoy to go through but the road was too narrow and the presence of some motorcyclists in front of his car also made this impossible.
The journalist said in his state of helplessness, he resorted to applying the brake and brought his car to a halt but the political thugs jumped out of their vehicles, banged his car and threatened to kill him.
He added that the lawmaker witnessed the unruly behaviour of his boys but did not curb them. Rather he shouted at him when he complained to him.
Mr Ibikunle stated that it was the traffic wardens at the junction that eventually cleared the road for them to go.
Meanwhile, the matter has been reported to the police at the nearby Sango Police station.
“I wouldn’t have taken the matter seriously but for the threat to my life and coupled with the fact that the lawmaker Hon Adebayo Babajide Gabriel himself was there. And since we are in electioneering period, I can’t take the threat lightly. I’m a journalist I have to cover campaigns and there is no way I won’t come across these lawmaker and his guys. They have threatened to kill me, so I have to notify the appropriate authorities.” Ibikunle stated
“I called the state PPRO, ASP Adewale Osifeso, who directed me to report at Sango Police Station. I also called the Speaker of the House, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin, who didn’t pick his calls. I dropped a message for him but he hasn’t called back till now. So I called the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Honourable Kazeem Olayanju and his Deputy, Honourable Adeola Bamidele. They both promised to look into the matter”, he added.
The leadership of Oyo state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists have also been informed about alleged assault on the journalist.
According to reports, the police and the State NUJ Chairman Comrade Babalola called the phone number of the lawmaker at separate times but he did not pick all the calls.
Meanwhile, journalists in the state have condemned the attack on their colleague, urging the Oyo NUJ, the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly and other concerned authorities to take appropriate action on the incident which they described as a threat to public order.