The Ebonyi State contingent to the just concluded Nigeria Union of Journalists Triennial Delegates Conference in Abeokuta, Ogun State were on Saturday night attacked by hoodlums on their way back along Nkalagu axis of Enugu-Abakaliki Expressway.
The attack resulted in death of the state Vice Chairman of the union, Comrade Samuel Nweke, who until the incident was a staff of the Ebonyi State Broadcasting Corporation, Abakaliki.
The hoodlums also inflicted injuries on others, including the state Correspondent of Vanguard Newspaper, Peter Okutu, who incidentally was driving the union’s bus used for the journey.
Okutu and others injured in the ugly incident are currently receiving treatment at the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, while Nweke’s corpse has been deposited in the morgue.
Nweke left his wife, three children and a father behind.
In response to the development, the South East chapter of the union has declared one week mourning over the incident and directed members to wear black arm bands throughout the period of mourning.
In a statement issued by the newly elected Vice President and the Secretary of the South East NUJ, Comrade Petrus Obi and Comrade Kenneth Ofoma, the Zone C chapter of the union received the incident with shock.
The statement said: “We received with shock and pain in our hearts, the news of the tragic loss to the cold hand of death, of one of our vibrant members and Vice Chairman of Ebonyi State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade (Sir) Sam Nweke.
“Nweke died in the hands of the wicked men of the darkness, armed robbers, who blocked the bus tin which Ebonyi contingents were traveling back after the just concluded 6th triennial delegates conference of NUJ at Abeokuta, Ogun state between 3rd to 5th October, 2018.
“This is indeed a sad moment for NUJ family, particularly Zone C after streaks of victories, with the emergence of Comrade Chris Isiguzo, Comrade Petrus Obi and Comrade Kenneth Ofoma, as National President, Vice President Zone C and Secretary Zone C respectively, after the conference.
“We hereby express our deep condolences to the immediate family of Sam Nweke, Ebonyi state Council of NUJ and entire NUJ family in Nigeria.
“We equally express our sympathies to other colleagues wounded in the unfortunate incident, and wish them quick healing injuries.
“We call on security agencies to do the needful by apprehending these hoodlums and bringing them to book.
“As a mark of respect, NUJ Zone C hereby declares a week-long mourning period for our departed colleague, Nweke, starting from today. Members are expected to wear black arm bands throughout the period of mourning.”