Ondo Commissioner Who Assaulted Journalist During APC Primary Apologized; NUJ Lifts Media Ban Placed On Him



The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State Council says the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Mr Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, who assaulted a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) staff, Mr Tayo Ikujunni during the coverage of the APC gubernatorial primary election at Obaile, Akure North local government area, has now apologized.

The NUJ disclosed this in a press release on Sunday, through its Chairman, Leke Adegbite and Secretary, Olaoluwa Meshack.

During the exercise held on Saturday, Mr Ikujunni was violently assaulted, had his gadgets and mobile phones damaged when performing his duties as a journalist detailed to cover the APC primary.

The Commissioner, having realised the implication of the molestation on Mr Ikujunni and his effect, has visited the leadership of the NUJ, to tender his apology to the victim and entire journalists in the state with the assurance of having a better working relationship with members of the Press.

In view of the development, the State NUJ Chairman, Comrade Leke Adegbite, and its affiliates – Correspondents’ chapel Chairman, Comrade Tosin Ajuwon, have vehemently condemned the assault and vowed to continually protect its members, who are perfoming their constitutional duties, from being oppressed.

We note that wellmeaning individuals, government officials and more importantly, the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan, who have all contacted the leadership of the union to tender unreserved apology over the assault on Mr Ikujunni.

Following this intervention and several plea, the union has decided to withdraw its earlier demand for an “indefinite suspension of the Commissioner by Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa’ and launching of investigation into the incident, as Mr Yusuf-Ogunleye has agreed to fix the Samsung Tablet Phone belonging to the Senior Journalist, which was damaged during the assault on the senior journalists.

We have accepted the Apology of the commissioner while the media Houses and journalists in Ondo State and beyond can henceforth report activities of Mr Saka Ogunleye and his Ministry.

Ondo NUJ sincerely appreciates our members, veteran journalists and media outfits all over, as well as the Ondo State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for showing Solidarity with Mr Ikujunni and the leadership of the NUJ.

The union, however, advises political gladitors in the state to exercise caution as the 2024 Governorship election in the State is fast approaching while the political class, security agencies and stakeholders in the election process should also know well that “the Press and Media Professionals are the Oxygen of Democracy anywhere in the world.”

Solidarity Forever!!!

21st April, 2024.

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