Suspected hoodlums on Saturday mobbed a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), covering a local election in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
Chief correspondent John Amieyeofori recounted that thugs descended on him at an INEC registration centre in Port Harcourt city, hitting him and taking his money and other valuables.
Rivers, the oil capital of Nigeria is one of the nation’s political hotspots where political positions are determined by fisticuffs and guns.
“When the thugs approached me, one of them grabbed my shirt and started hitting me.
“The thug then tore my shirt into shreds and dispossessed me of some money and other valuables I had on me,’’ Amieyeofori stated.
“As if that was not enough, the thug attempted to use his dagger on me but miraculously missed on several attempts.
“I have never witnessed such vicious and unprovoked attack in my many years of monitoring elections,” he said
Amieyeofori, who said that he did not sustain life-threatening injury, wondered why anyone would want to harm a journalist performing his civic duty.
But the visibly traumatised reporter is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Port Harcourt.
INEC is conducting a bye-election to fill a house of assembly seat vacated by Mr Victor Ihunwo, who became a Local Government Council Chairman.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation is set to conduct general elections in 2019.
The country returned to popular democracy in 1999 after years of military rule that apparently left the economy of the nation prostrate.