Thursday, November 14, 2019

‘I would have been dead’ — journalist speaks on attack by Sanwo-Olu’s ‘supporters’

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Felicity Ezewuike, a journalist working with Plus TV Africa, says she was “almost lynched” by supporters of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, for filming a development.

In a short video tweeted by Plus TV Africa, Ezewuike said she was filming a protest when supporters of Sanwo-Olu came around that vicinity and started fighting.

The reporter said at that point, the police officers deployed to maintain peace and order shot in the air in a bid to end the conflict.

She said in the middle of the commotion a man attacked her and he and other supporters of Sanwo-Olu forced her to the delete the video clip.

“I was going on an assignment and I saw Togolese people protesting at the TBS terminal. I stayed with them, recorded them on my phone because we didn’t have a camera with us,” Ezewuike said.

“While I was waiting for a Taxify, I saw Sanwo-Olu people. Campaigners for Sanwo-Olu – they had this (a flier with pictures of President Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Tinubu, former Lagos governor and inscription ‘Strong Men & Women, Asiwaju for Life Grassroots Politicians’) – I was looking at them, I was like ‘oh what’s going on.’

“The next minute I saw them fighting. As they were fighting, the police officers who were there to help maintain peace for the Togolese protest, saw them and shot into the air.

“I was voluntarily filming, I wasn’t even expecting the police to even shoot up to disperse the crowd. The next thing I knew, some guy was running after me. I was almost lynched today. I’m still shaking from the experience.”

Ezewuike said if the police had not rescued her, she “would probably be dead right now.”

“If the police were not there, I would probably be dead right now. I would be probably be dead,” she said.

“They compelled me, even in the presence of the police to delete the video I had on my phone. The ladies were screaming, they had already started hitting me, before the police came and saved me. So I’m just speaking that I am a journalist, I’m supposed to report what I saw.

“I have been hearing of stories being manhandled, being lynched, being dealt with. Today I experienced it first-hand. So I’m going to broadcast this. Sanwo-Olu, Sanwo-Olu, the people that are supporting you are very terrible people.

“They almost killed me. They almost killed me. They threatened me. They said there is nothing I can do. They said that I’m a nobody. They forced me to delete the video that I had. You will kill me first before you stop me from doing a job that I know know is important.”

When contacted, Gboyega Akosile, spokesman of Sanwo-Olu, told TheCable that the media team is working to ascertain the veracity of the claim.

Akosile said Sanwo-Olu would not ask his supporters to hurt anyone.

“We need to ascertain the veracity of the claim, first and foremost. I’m a journalist and I understand her – he who alleges must prove – after that we will know the next step. Nobody will support anybody molesting or harassing anybody,” he said.

“It is not in the character of Mr Sanwo-Olu or any of his followers to molest anyone. It is imperative to know what really happened. If she was so harassed unduly, it is condemnable and we  condemn it. I can’t tell you what other steps will be taken to asuade her but definitely we will do something about it.

“The flip side of it is they may not be Mr Sanwo-Olu supporters though they may be wearing his branded shirts… you can’t say Mr Sanwo-Olu will send anybody to go and hurt anyone. It does not have anything to do with Mr Sanwo-Olu. We distance ourselves from such.”Read More

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