The Senator representing Abia South senatorial zone in the National Assembly, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, was on Thursday humiliated by some journalists at the venue of the Ngwa Day Festival 2012, organized by Ngwa Patriotic Forum at Ngwa High School, Aba, Abia state.
Abaribe who was being interviewed by an NTA staff expressed surprise that journalists from other media organizations declined to join their counterpart to get his views about the event and other issues.
A source who was at the event hinted that Abaribe who serves as the chairman , senate committee on Information and Media; was embarrassed few minutes after; as all the waiting journalists immediately swooped on his Abia Central counterpart, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu and began interviewing her. Some of them were seen chatting with her as she addressed them by their names.
The senator was said to have sat moody throughout the event. One of the journalists who spoke to 247ureports.com on the condition of anonymity said they refused to join their colleague to have a chat with Abaribe because he has always declined to grant interviews or approve appointments to the state based journalists; even when officials request are made.
“In December 2011, we called him on phone to book an interview appointment with some of my colleagues form Umuahia; but he declined and said that he can only talk with journalists in Abuja. Others have made efforts to have a chat with him whenever he is around, but to no avail. Since then, we decided to ignore him, no matter the occasion. Even his Media Assistant has not been able to do improve his relationship with journalists practicing in the state,” the journalist said.
247ureports.com gathered that during the presentation of certificate of return to successful candidates after the 2011 general elections by INEC in Umuahia; Abaribe who now serves as the spokesman of the senate, almost engaged in fisticuffs with journalists who had gathered at Empire Hotels in the state capital; to interview him on his plans for his Abia south constituency in his second tenure at the senate.
On that occasion, the senator asked the journalists, “I hope you people are not trying to interview me”; to which the newshounds replied in the affirmative. But Abaribe insisted that he couldn’t remember having an interview appointment with any journalists. Even the appeals by the journalists that interviews are not always formally done as there are still opportunities for impromptu interviews; could not sway the senator as he ordered his driver to zoom off to surprise of the newsmen.