An aide to the Delta State Governor who refused to disclosed his identity but was simply identified with his office as the Director of Operations of the Delta State Traffic Management Authority (DESTMA), invaded and threatened to shut down a leading Radio Station, Trend FM, in Asaba, the Delta State capital for reporting the ‘educated illiterate’ of one of DESTMA’s officials.
It was reliably gathered that the media house was thrown into commotion when the top DESTMA staff otherwise known as “Okowa Poplice”, stormed the Radio Station vibrating, raining curses and abuses on the news editor, Ijeoma Uba, who did the live show programme.
The traffic incident that culminated in the invasion of the radio home involved a school bus of Banita International School in Asaba which was held up at rush hours of 7:30 am by DESTMA wardens at the very busy Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) junction along Okpanam road.
According to eyewitness report, the school children were disembarked from the school bus by the recalcitrant DESTMA wardens and made to sit on pavement on the road, while the traffic wardens made attempts to force out the bus driver and arrest the bus for unverified traffic violation.
Recounting the incident, the News Editor of Trend FM, Mrs Uba said “I did a live report at about 8:20 at the NTA junction where DESTMA officials had a problem with Banita School Bus. I reported that there was a big traffic jam and I can see pupils of a private school sitting on the road and looking famished as a result of the long stay and possibly the early morning sun”.
“I learnt the driver was having problem with DESTMA officials according to an eyewitness who gave us an account of how it happened. I also took one of the parents of the pupils who were alerted of what happened and she was hysterical”
“Before I signed off, I said we couldn’t speak with DESTNA official because they were not on ground at the time of the report. Ten minutes later, the DESTMA Director of Operation stormed my office causing commotion that even bystanders took photo shots of his action”, the radio editor explained.
Mrs Uba said the DESTMA Operations Director scolded her that, “I shouldn’t have done the report at all without coming to DESTMA as the report embarrassed the traffic authority and state government”.
Aside this show of shame by Okowa’s men, DESTMA officials also run after moving buses, jump into tricycles and barricade the road just to get at their offenders.
Although, Okowa gave DESTMA official training, they act as untrained personnel who never saw the four walls of the school.
Meanwhile, Okowa through his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu has disown the DESTMA official.
When contacted Aniagwu said, the DESTMA officer should go and bear his load while the chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Norbert Chiazor said the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, was trying to wade into the DESTMA misconduct, calling on reporters to throw the story into the waste bin.