Tuesday, 3 February 2015

News Release: The Brutality And Intimidation Meted Out On Journalist Greg Okey Nwadike In Imo State

Journalist Greg Okey Nwadike 

The Youths for Rights Protection And Transparency Initiative (YRPTI) and the Youths Against Human Rights Violation And Corrupt Practices (YAHVCP) hereby condemn the barbaric and provocative assault the Imo State Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development and son in-law to the Governor of Imo State, Mr. Uche Nwosu and his thugs unleashed on a Journalist last week by name Greg Okey Nwadike. Nwadike was brutalised to a state of coma. He was accused of being sponsored by PDP to riot against the government of Imo State since he was wearing a TAN T-shirt to cover a student protest in the state.

We condemn in strong terms the insensitive and utterly inhuman acts of brutality and intimidation of Journalists and Activists in Imo. The same lawlessness is seen in the continued detention of Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha . Iwuoha has been in prison since June 2014. His crime is that he spoke against the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly Rt Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu who vowed that he (Iwuoha) will rot in jail. Yet this same Uwajumogu is contesting for the Okigwe Senatorial seat in the February 14th election. We wonder what manner of representation he will give to the people of Okigwe zone.

The beating up of Journalists and detaining of Activists in Imo is part of the despotic measures of corrupt Governor Okorocha aimed at suppressing the people’s right to speak against ,protest and resist his mindless looting of the state and his anti-poor policies. This characteristic despotism of the Imo State governor confirms his lack of commitment to genuine democratic culture. The Imo State governor has become so panic and grown goose pimples over the inevitable mass backlash against his mindless looting of the Imo treasury. This is why, beside the unjust arrest and unlawful detention of anti corruption Activists in the State, he has resorted to tagging them all sorts of names so as to jail and silence them. We wonder when it became a crime in Nigeria to wear TAN T-shirt.

The Okorocha’s regime has no solution to the innumerable socio-economic crises confronting Imo. The Imo economy continues to stagnate and unemployment is on the rise. The goal of economic management and governance of Okorocha is not to satisfy the needs of majority of the populace particularly the working people, but to maximise profits and increase the wealth of a minority rich few. That is why his system means unending poverty, misery and hardship for overwhelming majority of the Imo society in the midst of abundance. Uplifting the living standards of the masses and improving education, health, housing, roads and providing other basic necessities is the last in the calculations of this capitalist vampire.

In 2011, Okorocha tried to make a name for himself by criticising and dissolving the local government councils of the last administration . He called it "selection." Close to four years now, he has refuse to organise elections into local government . Instead, he has , in contravention of the constitution and the democratic rights of the electorate, appointed his cronies into "caretaker committees" and using them to loot local councils.

Anyone that tries to say No to the mindless looting of Imo is brutalised or jailed. This, more than anything, shows that there is no hope for a better life for the working masses of Imo under Governor Okorocha.

We call for the trial of all the men and women who partook in the assault on Greg Nwadike, including the Commissioner who ordered the action. We urge all Labour centres, NUJ and pro-democracy groups to fight against human rights violation in Imo.

Kenneth Uwadi
Youths for Rights Protection and Transparency Initiative (YRPTI)

David Kalu
Youths Against Human Rights Violation and Corrupt Practices (YAHVCP)
South East Zone

Amaka Didanda
General Secretary
Youths Against Human Rights Violation and Corrupt Practices (YAHVCP)

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