Suspected hoodlums on Saturday attacked a journalist working for Rave television, Mr Jomoh Ogirima.
He was attacked during a peaceful protest by members of Edo Civil society organizations (EDOCSO’s) who were demanding for explanation on why Edo Specialist hospital built with tax layers money was privatised, why patient card in the facility should be issued for N5000.
Some protesters got a close shave with death in the hands of hoodlums who were clad in a branded vest with the inscription, “vigilante Edo Government House”.
The peaceful protest turned awry when the protest berth in front of the old Central hospital Complex in Benin City.
Narrating his ordeal, Mr Jimoh Ogirima said he lost his working tools including a Camcorder video recorder to the hoodlums who brandished guns, handcuffs and battle axe while police operatives and Edo State Security outfit codenamed “Wabaizigan” watched with glee.
It was gathered that one, Mr Kelvin who claim to be an Official of Edo State Government Investment Plan, had earlier admonish the members of EDOCSO’s to shelve the protest which later turned awry.
The Coordinator-General of Edo Civil Society Organizations, Leftist Omobude Agho who led the protest, described the alleged attack as unacceptable.
“This is unacceptable. We are going on the peaceful protest until a team of boys branded with a T-shirt Edo vigilante Government House brandishing all kinds of ammunition including guns from vehicle.
“Some of them threatened that there is going to be fire if we do not retreat on the protest.
“They told us to vacate the scene and that the Governor had instructed them to come and disperse us and that we do not have right to protest.
“It this not funny. In 2019, the year of modern democracy, we still see a Government operate in such a level of tyranny and oppression.
“Anyway, I am glad that that Edo people are more enlightened now have the knowledge of democracy.
“I repeat, no force, no army, no ammunition or infantry from anywhere in the world that can stop an idea whose time has come. Our position has not change.
“We are saying that Edo State Specialist hospital cannot he privatised. Healthcare is not a privilege but a right.
“If a Government cannot provide effective healthcare for the people, such Government should resign because Government exist for the people.
“Are we asking for too much? In the cause of that, they came and ruffled us. They beat a lot of us. They took our camera and mobile phones.
“The banner we had our message on was torn and mutilated…Comrades, we will not stop. No amount of intimidation will stop us.
“It is our property that was build with Edo People tax money and it belong to the people.
“I am ashamed that we stoop this low to attack Edo people that voted for us. I am highly disappointed”, he declared menacingly.
Responding to the allegations in a telephone interview, Edo State Commissioner Communication and Orientation, Mr Paul Ohonbamu, absorbed the Government of any wrong doing.
Condemning the alleged attack, Comrade Kola Edokpayi, Speaker of Talakawa Parliament, berated the State Government for aiding thuggery in State.
He described the move runs foul of his resolve to criminalise cultism and all forms of vices in the State.