Abudu – The Chairman of Orhionmwon Local Government Area chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Kingsley Osagie has threatened a correspondent of The Nigerian OBSERVER, Emmanuel Ikhenebome to “desist from” reporting about the council workers when not authorised by him.
The threat came via a whatsapp message to the journalist less than 48-hours after the newspaper publication with the headline: “Threat of sanctions forces Edo council absentee staffs to work” surfaced online.
The journalist had reported about improve turnout of council staff to work following a management notice to sanction any worker who failed to report to duty.
The notice signed by the NULGE chairman, and secretary Omoruyi Kelvin was pasted on the council’s notice board where the journalist stumbled on it and use.
The report however did not go down well with the Orhionmwon NULGE chairman who messaged to warned the journalist to refrain from further publication of the workers activities unauthorised.
“The union was informing her members of management decision and that if there was any one who does not go to work should turn a new leaf. Honestly, I don’t really like this you are doing. Like I told you the other day. Don’t post or report to the outside world what I (Chairman) didn’t ask you to post/ report.
“My vice Chairman or any other members of my executive or members of the union do not have the right to tell you any thing concerning the union and you will go and report it without taking permission from me (Chairman).
“Even, if there is going to be any report, I should be the one to call you and inform you on how to go about it. I told you when ever we have something to report , the union will inform you. Picking a letter on the council notice board and reporting it without my notice is wrong and I hope someone is not using you.
“Desist from the act once again. Please and please for your own good interest. I repeat when we have something to report, the union will call you and not you bouncing on us without notice. I will not take this likely with you next time.”, Osagie said in the WhatsApp message
The message was followed with a call from the union’s auditor, Harrison Onaghise hours later, inviting the journalist to a meeting of the union executive one Wednesday at Abudu, the administrative headquarters of the council.
Consequently, I reported the matter to the Deputy Editor of The Nigerian OBSERVER, Mr Andy Egbon who immidiately call the NULGE Chairman to educate him on due process after faulting his approach to inviting the journalist to appear before the NULGE executive.
After about 18 minutes of talking and refusal to see reasons not to invite me, he ended the call on my Editor and said, “We will see.”
Further call was not responded to, only to call the Editor about an hour later.
He called the Editor again yesterday at about 11.15 am and the fact was reemphasised that he has no right to summon me without informing the headquarters of The Nigerian OBSERVER newspaper.
I am using this opportunity to alert the public of the threat by the Orhionmwon NULGE Chairman.