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Police arrest journalist who criticised Ortom for ‘mishandling’ ethnic conflict

Sunday Egena Odeh, a statehouse correspondent of Peoples Daily, an Abuja-based newspaper, has reportedly been arrested by officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). 

The journalist was said to have been arrested alongside Johnson Ubeh, his cousin, on Friday, on the orders of the Benue state government for criticizing Samuel Ortom, the governor. But Johnson was reportedly released later.

Odeh, who hails from the state, was reportedly whisked away from his base in the outskirts of Abuja to Makurdi, the state capital.

Odeh had authored a statement on April 7 as president of Igede Media Professionals (AIMPs) blaming Ortom for the escalation of the Bonta-Ukpute conflict in the state.

He also asked government appointees from the Igede ethnic group to resign from the governor’s cabinet.

“Since last year when the crisis erupted, we have been mounting pressure on Governor Samuel Ortom to resolve the issues at the center of the dispute; namely, boundary demarcation, with a view to putting an enduring end to the frequent clashes over land dispute by the Bonta and Ukpute communities,” Ode wrote.

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