Abbas Muhammed, the Nasarawa State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has reacted to an attack on journalists during elections.
He condemned the attack on the Head of News at Breeze FM Lafia, Edwin Philip, who was covering the governorship and state Assembly elections on Saturday March 18.
The journalist was beaten by some personnel of the Nasarawa NSCDC, who were on a routine patrol and monitoring the electoral process.
The incident occurred at Polling Unit 061 in Ciroma ward of Lafia local government area of the State.
In a press statement issued by the Public Relations Officer, NSCDC Nasarawa State, Jerry Victor, on Sunday, the commandant described the attack as a shameful act.
He apologised to the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Nasarawa State Council and the general public, assuring that such an incident would not repeat itself.
“The Nasarawa State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abbas Bappa Muhammed, received with great shock, the news of the attack on the Head of News, Breeze FM Lafia, Mr Edwin Philip at Polling Unit 016, Chiroma Ward, in the Lafia Local Government Council, during the gubernatorial and state Assembly elections by some personnel of the Nasarawa State command who were on a routine patrol and monitoring of election processes within the Lafia metropolis,” the statement read.
“Commandant Bappa condemned this act in its totality, as it is not a true reflection of the character and attributes of the command’s personnel. He vowed to investigate the incident to fish out the perpetrators of the attack on the journalist.
“He harped on the need for officers and men of the command to exhibit high standards of professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
“The state commandant had directed that the injured journalist be immediately given medical attention with a promise to settle all bills incurred in order to avoid any health complications.”
Speaking shortly after the incident, Philip alleged that he was beaten on the order of one Adon Garin Lafia.
According to him, while reporting election proceedings live to his station, Breeze fm situation room when he got a call that voters at one polling unit 061, Chiroma ward, Lafia East, are asked to come back to vote after being accredited against the electoral new law.
“On reaching the venue I was told by the electorates that they were told to be accredited and go back home to return by 2: 30 pm, while their fingers are dotted, symbolizing that they have voted,” he narrated.
“On sighting a unidentified local traditional title holder, I moved away from the polling unit as he became violent and started beaten up some electorates
“All of sudden he disappeared from the polling unit only to reappeared with NSCDC personnel and ordered them to beat me up and take me away, they beat me and left a deep cut on head and swollen body,”
He said that the personnel took his wrist watch, fez cap and his mobile phone and later returned his mobile phone to him, adding that he had reported the matter to NSCDC Nasarawa Command and Nigerian police, A division Lafia.