Three journalists were on Tuesday harassed and beaten by overzealous union members enforcing the strike order in the state.
The PUNCH Newspapers in Ogun State, Daud Olatunji, the PM /The News reporter, Adejoke Adeleye; and the Platform Times reporter, Tutu Sobowale, were beaten by the Ogun labour union enforcers for ‘coming to work.’
The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress in the state had declared an indefinite strike on Monday to press home their demands for payment of their contributory pensions and other allowances.
The journalists were monitoring compliance of the strike across government establishments when they met resistance from the union members at the Ogun State General Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta.
The members, armed with canes, were sighted at the entrance of the state hospital forcing any worker that resumed work, contrary to the strike order, to return home.
On getting to the hospital, Olatunji, Adeleye, Sobowale, were accosted at the gate.
The union members mobbed Olatunji and rained blows and slaps on him, insisting he should leave the premises.
Efforts to explain that that they were journalists and doing their job were rebuffed, as the semi-literate union enforcers pounced on the reporters.
Olatunji said, “I was just shocked at the aggression of the people at the state hospital. Despite showing them my ID card, the union members harassed me. Before I knew what was going on, I started receiving blows and slaps. They were saying I was wicked and came to work when others stayed away.”
Adeleye and Sobowale, who arrived at the scene earlier, were harassed for hours until the hospital management pleaded on their behalf.
Sobowale said, “I didn’t even enter the hospital. I was still on the other side of the road when four men came with canes and dragged me to the hospital premises.
“They were asking who gave me permission to take pictures. My phone was seized. I was detained and queried for hours.”