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Journalists assaulted by striking university lecturers in Nigeria

On 16 December 2013, journalists who converged at the campus of the Federal University of Technology (FUT) in Minna, Niger State, in North-central Nigeria, to cover an emergency meeting of National Executive Council (NEC) of Nigeria's Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were assaulted by the lecturers who asked them to leave the venue.

The venue of the meeting was kept secret but journalists got wind of it and turned up at the university Senate Building, where the meeting was being held, to cover the event and the outcome of the meeting of the lecturers who have been on strike for five months.

But the Chairman of FUT, Minna branch of ASUU, Mr. Abdulfatai Jimoh, ordered the institution's security personnel to send out the journalists. Jimoh personally tried to push the Daily Trust newspaper correspondent, Aliyu Hamagan, out of the venue.

Jimoh initially thought Hamagan was a member of the union and invited him to come closer, asking him: "Who brought these stupid people inside? What are they doing here?"

Hamagan responded: "I am one of the people you are calling stupid. I will not have you insult us like that."

There upon, Jimoh began to push him, asking him to leave, saying: "You people are intruding. We did not invite you. Get out of this place now."

Other members of the Union joined Jimoh in shouting and ordering the journalists to vacate the venue

It was the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Musbau Akanji, who finally intervened to calm the unfolding fracas.

He apologized to the journalists and told the lecturers: "This place (FUT, Minna) is a Federal Government institution and it is a public place that everybody, including
journalists, can enter, especially when they are discharging their responsibilities."

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