On Wednesday, Nigerian journalist, Adepoju Tobi Samuel was almost killed in Ibadan, for being a journalist. He would not have thought that he would be running for dear life, being chased by fans of the same club he supported as a child and still supports.
He waved goodbye to his wife and child, off to find daily bread, like every other person would. He left in sound health, only to return home battered by irate fans in Ibadan–fans of Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan, so revealed in a statement e-signed by the Nigerian Sports Journalists platform.
It is inconceivable that fans of a professional club would descend so low to make an attempt on the life of a journalist and blatantly do so in full glare of the world. It is against this backdrop that the board of 3SC should immediately find and arrest whoever started that show of shame which has become a dent on the club’s image.
The assault on Tobi Adepoju is an attempt on the lives of all Nigerian sports journalists and a clear message that the Lekan Salami stadium is unsafe and could be likened to a ticket to the grave.
The Oyo State Government, should as a matter of urgent state importance, arrest and prosecute anyone involved in that show of shame and calculated blackmail on the State Government.
The group urged Governor Seyi Makinde not to allow miscreants ruin the good reputation of his Government. Billions were channelled towards refurbishing that stadium and this, is a step backward.
The life of journalists who come to do their jobs at the Lekan Salami stadium should not be equated to that of animals, except the management of 3SC is saying so–if the perpetrators of this dastardly act are not found and made to pay for their barbarism.
Adding that the management of 3SC should know that this is a frontal attack on Nigerian journalists whose counter attack weapons are far mightier than the sword or the deadliest of missiles. Nigerian journalists cannot be intimidated by people who do not want varying opinions in a democratic setting. They will do everything legitimate to preserve their voices as members of the fourth estate of the realm.
This murderous attempt on Tobi’s life is insane, and can only be carried out by animalistic minded louts parading as fans of the club.
It is now on 3SC to prove that this mob crying for blood are not their loyal fans. The reputation of the club is on the line and they must find those involved or be seen as a club that has no business being in professional football and should be disbanded because, any establishment whose survival depends on a human’s precious life is not worthy to exist.
What have the irate fans achieved? Shame, disgrace, negative publicity and murderous profiling for 3SC.
They should know that they cannot silence Nigerian journalists. It is shameful that they wanted to lynch their own son in his own home. A son they should protect and guard jealously, a son that has brought fame to them as an international journalist and this is the crude way they can welcome him home.
This is war declared on Nigerian journalists and gentlemen of the noble profession have taken it. They cannot cower in the face of tyranny and will never bow to this madness in Ibadan.
The Government of Oyo State should find out the instigators of this attempted murder and make them pay for dragging the state’s image back to the dark ages. They must pay no matter who they are.
Tobi must be duly and quickly compensated and everything he lost in Ibadan must be immediately replaced and the cost of his medical bills taken care of.
Justice must be done and it is not negotiable, as affirmed in the statement released by Nigerian Sports Journalists forum.