Armed thugs, suspected to have been hired by a faction of Trade Union
Congress in Osun State, on Tuesday in Osogbo, attacked journalists and
thoroughly beat up a cameraman of Channels Television, Mr. Oloyede
Oyegbenle, before seizing his camera.
The thugs were brought in a TUC branded bus by some workers, who led
them to the main gate of the Osun State Secretariat.
The hoodlums, on sighting the policemen deployed in the place, had
hesitated before unleashing attack on the journalists and went on full
offensive against the newsmen when they observed that the policemen
did not stop them.
The thugs threw bottles, pegs, and other dangerous weapons at
journalists, who were at the venue to cover the strike action.
About eight of the hoodlums pounced on the Channels cameraman and
started ‘pounding’ him with pestles and clubs before they succeeded in
taking away his camera by force.
Oyegbenle, who was dragged away from the scene by his colleagues, was
treated briefly by an Osun State Ambulance, called to the scene by
some workers, who had resumed for work.
He was later taken to a hospital where he was treated.
Surprisingly, the armed policemen, who were at the scene before the
arrival of the hoodlums, failed to rescue the journalists when they
were being beaten.
The faction of the TUC, led by Mr. Francis Adetunji, and workers loyal
to him, were said to have come to enforce a three-day warning strike
the union had called.
The Adetunji-led faction of the TUC had wanted the proposed strike to
commence on Tuesday but the Chairman of TUC, Mr. Akinyemi Olatunji, is
opposed to the planned strike.
However, effort by the journalists to incident the case at the Ataoja
Estate Police Station and the police station inside the state
secretariat, were unsuccessful.
The Divisional Police Officer of the Ataoja Police Station told the
journalists that the case did not happen under his jurisdiction and
directed them to go to the station inside the secretariat.
The policeman at the secretariat police station also directed the
journalists back to Ataoja Police Station to incident the case.