Ogun State Commissioner for Sports, Mr. Bukola Olopade last weekend rained slaps on the Ogun State correspondent of Alaroye, Mr. Johnson Akinpelu, and threatened to kill any journalist who dared report the incident.
Olopade popularly called "Ozogula," attacked Akinpelu at the press conference following the soccer match between Gateway Football Club and Warri Wolves at the Gateway Stadium in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Trouble started when "Ozogula", alleged to be/a known cult gangster, entered the venue of the post match conference. He was accompanied by some of his thugs, who were singing and dancing, thus disrupting the flow of the conference.
The News Agency of Nigeria reporter from Abuja, Wale Alabi, was first to catch the ire of the rampaging commissioner when he politely attempted to caution the commissioner and his boys. The commissioner dealt Alabi a couple of slaps from him. Sighting the Alaroye reporter also cautioning some of the thugs, Ozogula quickly left Alabi for Akinpelu, who was then beaten to a pulp.
Appeals by other journalists yielded no fruit as some of the aides of the Commissioner, who are also alleged to be/known cultists threatened to kill anybody who moved near the Commissioner during his explosion of anger.
The Ogun State Chairrman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr. Wale Sobande pleaded with the commissioner to spare the reporter. The Commissioner finally agreed, but on the condition that Akinpelu prostrated to him in apology and called him "Baba". He apparently got his wish.
Following that strange experience in a country in which the President preaches the rule of law, the Commissioner turned his attention to the frightened reporters in the room and threatened to kill any one of them who reported the story.
He declared: "Whosoever amongst you wants his mother to weep over his grave should go and report (the beating). I can assure that I will kill you.”
Continuing his tirade, he said, “Go and tell the Governor, he cannot remove me and as long as I am in government I can get away with anything including killing anyone of you."
Throwing a final warning, the Commissioner said: "If you value your lives, stay away from me. All my boys carry guns and you know me, they will just waste you."