Journalists were on Saturday barred from covering Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC Congress.
They were prevented from carrying out their lawful duty at the event, which took place at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) sport Complex where Col. David Imuse (rtd) and Mr. Lawrence Okah were returned as the State Chairman and State Secretary of APC respectively through a consensus arrangement.
Armed operatives of the Department of the State Security Service, DSS who manned the entrance of the venue, cited ‘order from above as the reasons for shutting out journalists.
A delegate from Etsako West Local Government Area of the State, Mr. Make Afaliokhai said Mr. Francis Inegbeneki who was contested for the chairmanship position of the main opposition party in the State, step down during the election to pave the way for Imuse.
“Even when the journalists showed their Identity cards, officials of the Directorate of State Security Service manning the gate stopped the journalists, saying they are acting on instruction.
“You can’t entered the venue, we don’t need office identity card. If you want to enter the venue you have to show your accreditation card. Sorry, it is not our fault, we are acting under instruction, called the officials”, a dependable source said.
One of the party officials when who expressed concern over the development, told the journalists that there is nothing he can do since he is not part of the publicity committee.
“I don’t know the criteria for selecting the media organisations for the coverage but all I know is that five prints and four electronics were accredited for the event”.
Our Correspondent reports that the election witnessed a horse-trading among political actors led Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of Edo State.
The development prompted some of the delegates to walkout of the venue, alleging that winners at the State APC Congress were already determined before the outcome of the exercise.
Investigation revealed that the nocturnal meeting that preceded the peaceful Congress started on Friday night and ended at about 12p.m on Saturday at Oshiomhole’s residence.
It was also learnt that the delegates to the Congress, did not enforce Covid-19 prevention measures and safety protocol including wearing of nose masks and other Non Pharmaceutical Interventions, NPIs at the venue.
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