A CREW from Net2 Television, an Accra based-private station which visited the Hajj Village in Accra to cover the departure of pilgrims to the Holy land was manhandled by machomen who claimed to be providing security at the facility.
Even though some soldiers were present, the machomen had a field day slapping the reporter and his camera man and also destroying their equipment with impunity.
According to one of the victims, Abdul Wahab Giwah, they were assigned to cover problems being confronted by the pilgrims at the village and the group set off to the place at about 7:30 am on Saturday.
“When we got there we realized there were a lot of pilgrims who were not certain they would get the chance to travel to Mecca and they were frustrated so we decided to interview them.”
“Some claimed they had been there for two weeks and were suspecting that the last plane was getting ready to depart and therefore they wanted to be part of the process and not overtaken by events.”
He said in the process of looking for some of the Hajj Committee officers to know the status of the numerous pilgrims yet to leave, a group of heavily built men numbering between 10 and 15 rushed on them and started to manhandle him.
Sensing danger, Giwah said he asked his cameraman to step outside the village while he reasoned with the attackers but they would not budge.
“I showed them my identity but they still ruffled me. One of them punched my face from behind and hid in the crowd whilst the others ripped off our camera and broke the microphone.”
Giwah told DAILY GUIDE that “No matter what they did to me I tried to make peace with them.”
He claimed that the soldiers on duty refused to assist them when they appealed for help simply because the soldiers said they were not supposed to be there.
He said he could identify one of the attackers and added that “Nobody got injured…they only destroyed our equipment.”
Later, Public Relations Officer of the National Hajj Committee, Alhaji Haruna Alidu condemned the alleged attacks on the journalists describing it as “uncivilized.”
He told Citi Fm that “If indeed it happened, it’s uncivilized to do so. Media houses are entitled to find out issues confronting the people of this country and if it happened, I condemn it and I think that those who engaged in that if they are identified, the law enforcement agencies should pick them up.”
Source: Daily guide
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|