Military VS Press: As I Text You They Have Laid Ambush In Benin – The Nation Correspondent Reveals

Nigerian security operatives have intercepted the vehicles transporting The Nation newspapers to several to destinations in the South South, as well as other parts of the country, on June 6, 2014, Friday.

It has been gathered that a van filled with latest edition of newspapers was on its way to Warri and Benin City, but failed to reach the destination. The soldiers of the 3rd Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Okwuokoko, Delta State, have impounded the vehicle.

In a parallel development, some troops stormed a circulation depot of the Nation in Effurun, Sapele. The soldiers searched for the newspapers and the employees.

* Journalists protest in the streets of Lagos on May 3, 2010. Photo credit – Reuters

A correspondent of The Nation in Benin, Ben Ogbemudia, was able to forward the following message, “as I text you they have laid ambush in Benin waiting for the company’s newspapers”.

There are strong indications that troops from the Effurun Barracks have been acting in accordance with the “orders from above”. Thus, the press centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists was invaded by the military men in Benin. The soldiers attempted to seize Friday’s edition of the newspapers.

The soldiers have also prevented the distribution Vanguard newspapers in Oyo, Ibadan.

The circulation vehicles were stopped in Ore (Ondo) and Warri (Delta State). Their drivers had their mobile phones seized and were put in detention. 

In an interview to Vanguard, the Chairman of Newspaper Distribution Agents of Nigeria (NDAN), Oyo State chapter, Mr Abimbola Tunde, confirmed that over 100 soldiers stormed the distribution point and seized all the papers, without giving any warning or reason.

The Leadership Newspapers has also suffered the shocking clamp down on the freedom of press. Today’s edition of the newspaper heading to the various parts of Nigeria, has been confiscated. 

* How a total 143 attacks on the press in Nigeria have distributed. Graphics – CPJ West Africa

The official reaction of DHQ Director of Defence Information, Maj.Gen. Chris Olukolade, is still awaited.

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