POLITICAL thugs attacked the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) Executive Director, Dayo Aiyetan, at the Agwan Fulani Town Hall, Gwagwalada town, Abuja, on Saturday, February 25, while he was covering the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Aiyetan was videoing a man attempting to upturn the canopy providing shade for election officers at the polling unit within the hall.
Another man suspected to be an ally of the man trying to pull the canopy shouted at Aiyetan to stop. He did. But within seconds, hoodlums at the hall descended on him.
They beat him, tore his cloth and dispossessed him of his phone, car key, purse and a pouch containing his debit cards, Nigeria and US driver’s licenses, and other items.
However, he fought to keep his camera. Another miscreant brought out a knife and tried to stab him. Aiyetan, a seasoned investigative journalist, succeeded in kicking him with his steel-toed sketchers.
He only sustained scratches and escaped from the army of thugs.
He explained that there was only a policewoman at the polling unit, whom he prayed should not intervene while he was under attack because the hoodlums might pounce on her too.
According to him, no matter the assurances from security chiefs and the leaders of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria’s elections cannot have adequate security because of the low population of security personnel.
Aiyetan, however, lauded the Divisional Police Officer in Gwagwalada, Hamza Sadiq, a chief superintendent of police (CSP) whom he described as “a committed, passionate officer”.
With Sadiq’s intervention, Aiyetan recovered his phone and his car key.