The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Imo State chapter, has slammed the State Governor and the APC for purportedly banning two journalists who are Imo State correspondents of Thisday and Vanguard Newspapers, Messrs Amby Uneze and Chidi Nkwopara “ from carrying out their constitutional duties of reporting and holding the government accountable in the discharge of their constitutional duties to the people”
In a statement signed by the party’s publicity secretary, Damian Opara, he said the State Executive Council of the party after a careful and painstaking review of the purported ban in an emergency meeting “ views the ban as a breach of the constitutional rights of the journalists and hereby condemn the action of Governor Rochas Okorocha in its totality”
Part of the statement reads:
“One of the tenets of any democracy is the freedom of information and this must be respected by all segments of the government in Imo State. The purported ban of the two journalists from carrying out their legitimate duties is to show the whole World how the Governor is becoming increasinly intolerant of opposing views to his draconian style of governance.
“The APC government of Imo State under Governor Rochas Okorocha has done so much harm to the people of Imo State and has completely lost popularity and sympathy of the people, through his maladministration should not transfer his aggressions to innocent Journalists who are carrying out their constitutional duties in Imo State. The ThisDay and Vanguard Newspaper Correspondents are not responsible for the dwindling image of Governor Okorocha which is self inflicted due to the many failed promises he made to the Imo people.
“We ask, are the correspondents of ThisDay and Vanguard Newspapers whom Governor Okorocha banned responsible for the destruction and demoilition of Eke Ukwu Owerri, Orie Amaraku and Anara Markets; the abandonment of the 27 general Hospitals in Imo State, the non- payment of complete pensions and salaries of Workers in Imo, the non- conduct of Local Government elections since 2011 till date which he has always promised, the collapse in the educational system, the destruction of critical infrastructures in Imo State, the non-completion of all destroyed roads in Imo State, non functional ISOPADEC for the Oil Producing Local Government Areas, non functional Adapalm, abandonment of all the Rural Roads in the 27 Local Government Areas in Imo State and most importantly the flagrant disobedient to Court Orders and Court Processes etc?
“The PDP hereby call on Governor Okorocha to allow these Journalists to do their legitimate duties as they are not the Eke-Ukwu Owerri Market Women and other artisans in Imo State whose livelihood have been destroyed by his questionable urban renewable policy.
“We also urge the two Journalists and indeed other Journalists operating in Imo to continue to boldly do their duties as much is expected from them at these challenging times of bad governance without fear or favor, as in the time of bad governance like this, it is only the media that can strengthen and protect democracy from declining as the watchdog.
“We therefore call on the all media houses not to kill the morale of their professional reporters because of a failed government. The media has an obligation to stand up to him and shame him. We also call on the NUJ Imo State Chapter and her National body to take appropriate actions to protect the Journalists concerned and others likely to fall victims to Gov. Okorocha’s antics as that is the only way to preserve the sanctity of the secred duty the media perform in a democracy” the statement stated