Plots To Silence Trumpeta Newspapers Uncovered, As Imo Govt Agent, OCDA Marks Office Complex For Demolition
- Lives of Publishers, Staff in danger
Sinister plots suspected to be a grand design by the Imo State Government to subtly move against one of the Owerri based newspapers, Trumpeta, has been uncovered, forcing the operators to raise the alarm about the safety of their lives and those of workers.
This was on last Tuesday, operatives of a government agency, named Owerri Capital Development Authority, OCDA, accompanied with armed policemen and fierce looking operatives, stormed the Item Street, Ikenegbu Area of the Trumpeta office, in Owerri, the state capital.
According to eye witnesses account, the squad, comprising stern faced youths packed in an 16-seater Innoson made bus, inscribed OCDA, landed Item Street, Owerri, where Trumpeta is located to make inquries from residents the particular building housing the tabloid.
The team was led by two men who also came with Innoson SUV truck with Imo State Government plate number.
Initially, their vehicles had patrolled the street repeatedly ostensibly in search of the Trumpeta office.
When the building housing Trumpeta office was pointed to the OCDA men, the weird looking fellows in the bus accompanied by the armed policemen jumped out in a jiffy, acting in a movie-like manner surrendered the premises thereby fuelling fears among residents of the street of planned external aggression.
Residents within the Trumpeta office neighbourhood on sensing the approach of the OCDA men became frightened of their presence.
Remarkably, Trumpeta staffers who were in office and alarmed by the Gestapo manner of invasion adopted by the OCDA to the complex took had no option than to take cover for safety purposes.
Frustrated about the failure of their suspected misadventure in Trumpeta office since they couldn’t meet any staff, and apparently aware of the watching crowd who had gathered to witness the interesting scene, the OCDA operatives merely inscribed a write up on the walls of the building as cover up.
When they stormed out of the premises, the OCDA men again marked on the walls of the houses opposite the Trumpeta office building. Inscribed on Trumpeta building that had been in existence for over 20 years is “Provide your building approval within 7 Days”
Trumpeta management, worried by the development, is uncomfortable with the OCDA move, considering the search the government agency embarked on Item’s street for the newspaper’s office.
The management of the tabloid recalls that in recent times, some government appointees have been making sarcastic comments about Trumpeta editorial contents. In most cases, their complaints were laced with indirect threats to life.
Trumpeta expresses surprise how of all the old and new houses on Item Street, Ikenegbu, Owerri, OCDA chose to search only Trumpeta office location. The operators of the newspaper is also perplexed why it was the only building housing the corporate affairs office of Trumpeta that was marked to produce building plan on Item Street.
Apparently alarmed by the suspected OCDA onslaught, the management has raised the alarm on their lives warning that the government agency should be held responsible if anything funny, unusual or harm befall Trumpeta publishers and workers in the coming days.
When contacted on phone, OCDA General Manager who responded confirmed it was his men who came for the operation. When confronted why the interest of his operatives was location of Trumpeta office and only the building was marked to provide Building Plan after years of existence, he said that it was a normal excercise considering that there could be information on a poor state of a building and the signpost to locate such place could be a famous name for identification like Trumpeta.
But the newspaper responded during the phone exchanges that the building housing Trumpeta has Philips House bodily inscribed on the wall for passersby to see despite the street number on the wall. Other notable signposts in the building for reference points with address boards other than Trumpeta without a signoard are; the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic and Medical Lab Registration Council office.
In view of the above, the management of Trumpeta newspapers has concluded arrangements to intimate the Nigeria Police Force, Imo State Command and the State Directorate of the State Security Service, DSS of the said development while alerting Imo people of the omnious signals therein.
Meanwhile, the OCDA General Manager, Hon.Innocent Ikpamezie, when contacted on his cell phone, said, “We want the owner of the building to come to the authority with their building permit or approval”.