Friday Olokor Jos
The panic in Plateau State over insecurity spread to the newsroom on Saturday as suspected Plateau United thugs invaded the premises of Jay 101.9 FM in Jos assaulted and abducted a sports presenter, Ferdinand Mbum, and whisked him to an unknown destination.
The incident was said to have taken place around 6.25pm after Sports Extra.
Analysts believe that the invasion is political since the radio station is believed to have links with former Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang.
The thugs said to have been led by a top official of the supporters’ club were allegedly ordered by the GM of Plateau United, Pius Henwan, to perpetrate the act.
The invaders were said to have arrived at the station in a black Honda Accord and a Peugeot 406 branded 4+4 and Lalong Boys, with the picture of Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong boldly inscribed on it.
A statement on Sunday by the Station Manager of the radio station, Mangna Wamyil, said they had reported the incident to the police.
The station called on the state Commissioner of Police, Andie Undie, to arrest and prosecute the culprits or risk a protest march to his office during the week.
The statement read, “Without equivocation, we want to use the occasion to demand within 24 hours, an unreserved apology from the General Manager of Plateau United on whose instructions the thugs seemingly acted.
“The apology must be conveyed to us in writing, published in three national dailies of repute, and broadcast on three radio stations in Jos, Plateau State. Failure to do that, we have instructed our lawyers to file a case of abuse of fundamental human rights and other charges against him and the club.”
It added, “As a journalist duty bound to investigate and report, Mbum said on the programme that a source from the accounts department of the club confirmed to him that the money the governor promised the players when they won the league last season in which each player was entitled to over N1m had been redeemed since February 18, 2018.
“He also reported the allegation that the match allowances for the CAF Champions League victory against Etoile Du Sahel in Kano of between N75,000 and N150,000 was not given to the players because they failed to qualify for the next round despite winning the match.
“As a law-abiding organisation, we are shocked at the actions of the GM of Plateau United, who not being a law enforcement agent, ordered the assault, abduction, and arrest of our employee who was merely doing his job, by his thugs.”
Spokesman for the police in the state, Matthias Tyopev, said, “Yesterday (Saturday), they were in the police station. We obtained the statement of the journalist and released him to a surety. They will return on Monday.”
Spokesman for Plateau United, Albert Dakup, told us that the incident was unfortunate.
He said, “To the best of my knowledge, neither the GM nor management of Plateau United is aware of the purported physical assault.
“The alleged physical assault was not on the orders of the GM as being speculated by a section of the media.”
Henwan denied ordering thugs to assault Mbum.
“I was called to the police station yesterday (Saturday)to write my statement on the matter. I did that and left,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted him as saying on Sunday.
“I explained to the police what I know about the whole development in my statement.
“I want to put it on record that I did not order or instruct anybody to do what they did.”
Friday Olokor Jos