The attack on Comrade Precious Nwadike, Publisher of Nigeria Watchdog newspaper by Governor Hope Uzodinma’s brother, Uche has elicited different reactions from individuals, groups, associations and professional bodies who condemned the vicious and reprehensible incident in very strong terms.
The Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Imo state chapter, in a release dated February 10, 2021 signed by the State Publicity secretary, Ogubundu Nwadike, described the incident as a deliberate ploy by the current administration in the state, to intimidate, harass, weaken and gag the press.
“ It is uncivil and contrary to democratic norms for even security operatives to subject a citizen to physical assault and battery, even if he contravenes the law, for as long as he is not evading arrest”
“Besides if Comrade Nwadike, a well known journalist and social crusader violated traffic laws, orders and directive, he ought to have been arrested, prosecuted and fined or ultimately, imprisonment as the case may be applicable in the laws of the land and not subjecting him to terrifying physical assault and torture that resulted in hospitalization”.
The PDP, further posited that, Nwadike, a Journalist and Publisher may have been pummeled to pulp because he has been x-raying and exposing the preponderant negative score card of the Governor Uzodinma administration”.
The release, further stated that, since the inception of the present administration in the state, there has been undisguised malice and hatred for the opposition press.
Imo Peoples Action for Democracy, IPAD, an umbrella body of civil rights groups in the state has also expressed displeasure and condemned the attack on Comrade Nwadike by agents of the state Governor.
The group, in a release signed by Marjorie Ezihe and Chibundu Uchegbu, Coordinator and Secretary respectively, said, “the assault on Comrade Precious Nwadike, a social crusader, Journalist and Publisher of Nigeria Watchdog newspaper by some pro-government thugs led by one Uche Uzodinma believed to be the Governor’s brother on Tuesday February, 9, in front of OCDA office, along Port-Harcourt is against democratic norms.
“We also learnt that Comrade Nwadike who sustained severe injuries during the unwarranted assault was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment by a concerned citizen present at the scene of the unfortunate incident and was later flown to Lagos for more medical attention.”
IPAD condemned the attack which it described as a barbaric and uncivilized act that has no place in the 21st century.
“In the event where a citizen violates a law or commits an offence, there are laid down legal procedure to call such person to order, which extra judicial assault is not one of them. For one to take the law into his hand is a threat to democracy, civility and a humanity.”
The release also wondered why neither Governor Uzodinma nor any of his appointees has not deemed it fit to comment on the issue that has gone viral on the social media with the attendant image damage on the state government.
The release further reminded the governor of the brouhaha the alleged beating o f a priest in Imo state in 2010 and the effect on the Ikedi Ohakim government it had on the Ikedi Ohakim administration. “ Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat the mistakes.”
Orluzurumee Youth Assembly, the umbrella body of youths of the 12 L.G.As in Orlu zone in a release captioned, “Attack on our BOT Chairman and Publisher of Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper, Precious Nwadike by Uche Uzodinma, Governor Hope Uzodinma’s brother, barbaric and unacceptable said, “we condemn in very strong terms the attack on our BOT Chairman, Comrade Precious Nwadike by Uche Uzodinma the governors brother.”
The group made their position known through a release signed by Engr Sylvester Anyikwa and Comrade Obinna Nnajiuba as National President and Publicity Secretary respectively.
The release says:“As a socio-cultural organization that abhors human rights violation and abuses, we call on Governor Uzodinma to call his younger brother, Uche to order. We, also as a group demand that Uche Uzodinma tenders a written apology to our BOT Chairman within 48 hours. If he fails to do so, a fundamental right action will be instituted against him.”
“We also call on youths of Orlu zone to remain calm and not take laws into their hands.
Some Imolites at home and in the Diaspora who have also reacted accordingly said they are to waiting and watching to see how government will react to the embarrassing development that has impacted negatively on its image and public rating.