NAN editor bags NUJ Press Freedom award

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By Alaba Olusola Oke

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) editor, Mr Tayo Ikujuni, has been awarded the Torch Bearer of Press Freedom Award by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

A letter signed by Mr Opeyemi Akorede, the Secretary to the NUJ Press Freedom Awards Selection Committee, on Monday, said that the award ceremony would be held on May 4, in Abuja.

“This is to bring to your notice that you have been nominated for Press Freedom Award 2024.

“The award will be conferred on you at the 2024 Press Freedom Awards Night on 4th May, 2024, at 6 pm in Africa Hall, Barcelona Hotels International, Wuse 2, Abuja,” the letter read.

The Torch Bearer of Press Freedom Award is bestowed upon journalists who faced harassment, physical injury, imprisonment or death in the line of duty.

It is to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of the affected journalists.

NAN recalls that on Saturday, April 20, Ikujuni while covering the All Progressives Congress(APC) Governorship Primary in Ondo State, was alleged to have been physically assaulted by the state’s Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Mr Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye.

The ugly incident occurred at about 11.45 a.m. at Eji-Oba High School, Oba-Ile, the venue of the Ward 9 election in Akure North Local Government Area of the state.

Ikujuni accused Yusuf-Ogunleye of punching his hand, collecting his cell phone and throwing it away.

He added that the commissioner ordered his political thugs to seize all the electronic gadgets belonging to him.

The NAN editor said trouble started when he inquired about when the electoral materials arrived since they had started counting.

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“Immediately, he shouted “who are you? You’re a useless journalist. You’re a stupid journalist. Go away from here.”

“The timely intervention of some party chieftains and security personnel prevented political thugs from further attacking me,” Ikujuni said.

Though, the commissioner denied the allegation, saying his supporters might have harassed the editor.

Yusuf-Ogunleye, however, apologised, pleading that the editor and the Ondo State Council of NUJ to forgive and sheathe their sword. (NAN)

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni

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