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FCT Development Control demolishes NUJ Secretariat in Abuja brutalizes Photo Journalists, seized their cameras



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The Demolition

Today saw what appears to become continued pattern from yesterday’s brute disperse of protesters staged in front of the NNPC towers who had gathered to protest against the unaddressed corruption within the petroleum sector.

Information made available to 247ureports.com indicates that the Nigerian Union Journalists [NUJ] Secretariat Abuja Council, today, Friday June 29, 2012 received the growing dictatorial tendencies of the Nigerian leadership. This was as confusion overtook the NUJ premises – as over 70 mobile policemen, 4 bulldozers and FCDA Officials invaded the premises of the secretariat and pulled down a structure within the premises of the Council while brutalizing two Photo Journalists attached to Vanguard Newspapers and National Mirror, seizing their cameras.

The incident resulted in the Journalists into mobilizing themselves to the Head office of Department of Development Control where they demanded for the release of their cameras .The matter became worsened just as officials of Development control mobilized thugs and area boys to join the stern looking mobile policemen at the gate to disperse the journalists. It took the intervention of National Executive of NUJ led by the National Secretary, Shuaib Liman who came to intervene in the matter and got the seized cameras released.

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The Director, Development Control, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Yahyah Yusuf who addressed the angry journalists apologized for the overzealousness of the mobile policemen for manhandling the photo journalists. He described the action of the team as illegal operation because they were not sent for such operation.

The Attack

As 247ureports.com gathered from the Director of the Development Control FCT, the demolition group was not officially dispatched to the NUJ premises. The group was sent to an area in Kubwa to carry out a demolition but they abruptly decided to demolish a structure within the NUJ gated premises instead. It remains unsure the reasons behind the illegal demolition. Some of the members of the NUJ pointed to the upcoming executive election within the NUJ Abuja council and internal squabbles within the executive council – as a probable cause for the needless demolition.

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Independent inquiry by our correspondent gathered that the agents from the Director’s office has arrived the demolished site to assess the monetary value of the damaged property. The Director has expressed the structure will be rebuilt by his office at no cost to the NUJ.

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