Violence erupted on Thursday at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Port Harcourt as the National Vice-President of the union, Edward Ogude, got set to conduct elections to a new Rivers State Executive Committee of the union.
Some aggrieved delegates walked up to Ogude, shouted him down and upturned the table, and ignited a brawl that lasted for more than half an hour before the police threw out everyone from the venue of the conference.
Ogude had presided over the dissolution of the immediate-past state executive committee led by Stanley Job and was calling out the delegates to prepare for the election of a new state executive committee when the trouble erupted.
Job is contesting against his former deputy, Paul Bazia. The run-up to Thursday’s incident had been tense. But no violence had been recorded. Some of the delegates alleged that the election committee was not transparent. They pointed out the fact that the list of delegates for the election were still hidden from claims and objections and that the National Vice-President was not actually sent from the National Secretariat to conduct the election as some of their grievances were not addressed.
As of 4pm, a settlement had not been reached.
Earlier, a veteran journalist, Fitz Albert-Briggs, declared that people who had taken the COVID-19 vaccines would die within three years in a paper he delivered at the pre-election Conference of the union.
Albert-Briggs, whose paper was titled, The Challenges of Reporting In COVID-19 Era, said his position was informed by the findings of some scientists that he did not immediately identify.
French virologist and Nobel Prize winner, Luc Montagnier, was reported to have said, “There is no chance of survival for people who have received any form of vaccine.” Reuters however said it has not been able to confirm that Montagnier made the claim.
Albert-Briggs said COVID-19 impacted journalism and the world of journalists adversely through loss of advertising revenue and the gagging by national governments.
He however said the pandemic had some positive sides at it reduced the rate if extramarital affairs because married men were forced to stay at home.