Governor David Umahi has apologized for banning two journalists from entering Ebonyi state government house and other government facilities, for life.
Recall that Governor Umahi banned Chijioke Agwu, the state correspondent of The Sun and his Vanguard counterpart, Peter Okutu ‘for life’ following their reports about some incidents in the state.
They were arrested for two separate stories they wrote which the governor said were false and targeted at tarnishing the image of the state.
While Mr. Agwu’s report was on the Lassa fever outbreak in the state, Mr. Okutu’s report focused on the recent invasion of a community in Umuogodoakpu, Mgbo in Ohaukwu local government area.
Umahi, however, apologized in a broadcast on Tuesday, April 28. He described the journalists as “partners”, and further pleaded with them to help him in building the state.
The Ebonyi state governor said;
“In my earlier speeches, I had said that the unfortunate incident with the press was not intentional but I think we are all here to build the state and so, I am asking everybody to disregard whatever that happened and see the press as our partners in progress and let us work together.
“We advise them to please crosscheck information because I hear more than you hear. There are certain write-ups that people are sad about and that is why I said please, let everybody come together. As a father, you beat a child with one hand, you bring him back with the other hand.
“I believe strongly that if anybody intentionally wants to pull you down, he can’t pull you down standing. He will also go down with you and he may even rise ahead of you and the single way to succeed in life is to be happy with success.
“So, I want to invite the press on partnership and also ask them to please help us to build the state. Nobody said you should not report the truth, but don’t report false against us because we know our people as a state is peculiar, little thing will trigger off a lot of tension.”