Mr John Idumange, the General Manager,
Radio Bayelsa “Glory FM”, on Friday
confirmed that he flogged four union
leaders of the station in self-defence.
Idumange told the News Agency of Nigeria
(NAN) on Friday in Yenagoa that the
incident happened on Monday after the
union leaders shut down the FM station
operated by the state government.
The Radio Bayelsa Chapel of Nigeria Union
of Journalists (NUJ) and Radio Television
and Theatre Arts Workers Union
(RATTAWU) had alleged that Idumange
was running the station outside public
Idumange, who explained the details of the
incident to NAN, alleged that the unions in
the station were working against his
reforms aimed at repositioning the
“At about 7.20 p.m on Monday, the day
RATTAWU and NUJ embarked on strike, I
heard voices near my window. So I went
out to see what was happening. I saw four
persons, one of them a lady.
“I could recognise Tonye Yemoleigha, one
of the union leaders, who was in white
shirt. I asked why they were there after
chasing away all the workers,” he said.
According to him, “Tonye stood up and
asked if the compound belonged to me. At
that point I discovered he was ready for a
fight but I did not bulge.
“He brought his hands near my eyes so I
blocked it. I had learnt Karate years back.
One of them threw a chair at me and they
all rushed to fight me. I had to fight back
in self-defence. They could have beaten me
up but my Karate skills rescued me,” he
Idumange, who was appointed on Dec. 6,
2016, claimed that he recently uncovered a
N5.7 million fraud and redeployed some
“The transferred workers have been
meeting with them at NUJ Centre, they
benefitted from the corruption and are
fighting back,” Idumange said.
Reacting, Mr Tonye Yemoleigha, the NUJ
Chairman in Radio Bayelsa, said that the
unions had reported the incident at Ekeki
“Four of us, myself and three staff were
flogged by Idumange himself. The report
that it was thugs is inaccurate. It was the
general manager himself that attacked and
beat us up.
“We have reported the matter to the Ekeki
Police Division and sought medical
attention at the Federal Medical Centre,
Yenagoa. Workers have been constantly
intimidated and threatened for no just
“Mr John Angese, Bayelsa Council
Chairman of NUJ who is a staff of Radio
Bayelsa, has also been threatened with a
sack. We are all being victimised for
insisting that the General Manager
complies with Public Service Rules.
“We have been under siege since he was
appointed on Dec. 6, 2016. We are not
opposed to repositioning the station which
is in our interest, but we want the
procedure to follow due process,”
NAN reports that after the station went off
air, the management mobilised armed
security men and few employees who
rebuffed the strike and reopened the
Yemoleigha said that workers of the station
were not opposed to staff redeployment.
“But we are insisting that the unions should
also be part of the process to ensure that
the best hands are not sacrificed on the
altar of nepotism, sentiment or witch-hunt.
“We are also aware of the alleged N5
million payroll fraud which Idumange
claimed to have uncovered which has been
referred to the Police for investigation.
“Ordinarily, in line with established
procedures, an investigative panel should
have been instituted to look into the matter
and come up with a report with which
management would act.
“All these are expressly spelt out in the
Public Service Rules; however, we are also
requesting for a copy of the police report
after their investigation,” Yemoleigha said.