Abbas Muhammed, the Nasarawa State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has denounced the assault on Breeze FM Lafia’s Edwin Philip, the Head of News, who was reporting the gubernatorial and state assembly elections on March 18 on that Saturday.
Several members of the Nasarawa NSCDC who were on a normal patrol and observing the election thrashed the journalist.
The event took place in Polling Unit 061 in the Ciroma ward of the State’s Lafia local government region.
The commandant called the attack a despicable act in a news release published on Sunday by the NSCDC Nasarawa State’s public relations officer, Jerry Victor.
He expressed regret to the Nasarawa State Council, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, and the general public and promised that such an incident would not occur again.
“The news of the attack on the Head of News, Breeze FM Lafia, Mr. Edwin Philip, at Polling Unit 016, Chiroma Ward, in the Lafia Local Government Council, during the gubernatorial and state Assembly elections by some personnel was received with great shock by the Nasarawa State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abbas Bappa Muhammed, the statement said. “Members of the Nasarawa State command were on a routine patrol and monitoring of electoral activities within the Lafia city.
“Commandant Bappa denounced this performance in its entirety since it is not a true representation of the people who work for the command and their qualities. He swore to look into the events and identify the attackers of the journalist.
He often emphasized the need for the command’s officers and troops to uphold the highest levels of professionalism in the performance of their tasks.
In order to avoid any health consequences, “the state commander had commanded that the injured journalist be given rapid medical attention with a pledge to settle all expenditures accrued.”
Philip claimed that he was beaten under the direction of one Adon Garin Lafia in a statement made shortly after the occurrence.
He claims that while live-blogging election results to his station’s Breeze FM situation room, he received a call asking voters at polling unit 061 in Lafia East’s Chiroma ward to return to the polls after being accredited in violation of the election’s new law.
He narrated: “On arriving to the location, I was informed by the electorates that they had been instructed to be authenticated and return home by 2:30 pm, while their fingers are dotted, signaling that they have voted.
“When I saw an unidentified local traditional title holder, I left the voting booth because he turned violent and began beating up some voters.”
He abruptly left the polling place before returning with NSCDC employees and ordering them to beat me up and remove me; they beat me and left me with a large cut on my head and a swollen body.
He said that the staff members seized his watch, fez, and cell phone before giving them back to him. He also said that he had reported the incident to the NSCDC Nasarawa Command and the Nigerian police, A division Lafia.
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