Edo State Government has disbanded the media crew attached to the Office of the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu.
In a statement on Monday by the state’s Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, the government has directed the Deputy Governor to henceforth request the Ministry of Communication and Orientation for media coverage of activities of his office.
The statement read,
“Edo State Government has disbanded the media crew attached to the Office of the Deputy Governor, with a directive to the Deputy Governor to henceforth request the Ministry of Communication and Orientation for media coverage of activities of his office.
“This directive followed the ugly and unfortunate incident that happened during the colloquium held to mark the 60th anniversary of the Midwest Referendum celebration held at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub and Soundstage, where some journalists, who claimed to be the media crew of the Deputy Governor, attempted to force their way into the hall where the governor and other invited dignitaries were already seated.
This act was contrary to the accredited protocol that had been established for the media coverage of the event.
“The orchestrated and stage-managed walkout and disruption is highly regrettable,” Nehikhare added.
The action will deepen the rift between Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu.
Trouble started on Monday morning as members of the deputy governor’s media crew were removed from the colloquium.
One of the journalists in the Deputy Governor’s media team said that they were already seated when they were told to leave the venue by security agents after Okungbowa, and Public Relations Officer, Office of the Governor, Ms Osarumwense Ojo identified them as those not fit to cover the event.
The source said, “We were at the event to cover the proceedings as the deputy governor media team. I got the premonition that things would get ugly when our bus was nearly prevented from going into the complex.
“After we gained entrance, we were allowed into the hall and we set out to do our job. After a while, the CPS and Ojo pointed at us and the security agencies walked us out.
“When the deputy governor got wind of what happened, he came to the door but he was told that they were acting on instructions from above. It was at this moment that the deputy governor stormed out,” he added.
However. a government house source said that no one was attacked or prevented from coming into the venue by Okungbowa or Ojo.
The source said, “No one attacked the deputy governor or prevented him from attending the event. Members of his media crew were also not prevented.
He was allowed in and seated but decided to create a scene by not following the directive that we were given that no media not listed should be allowed in so as to control what goes on.