A veteran internationally acclaimed photo-journalist, Bodise Wilson has narrated the humiliating ill-treatment received from Mr Victor Isishelle, the Chief Protocol to Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa state.

The Diri administration has severally exhibited disdain for mainstream media practitioners and made it a policy to shut out Correspondents of National Media from first hand coverage of government activities resorting to issuing press releases to journalists deployed to the state.

It would be recalled that Gov Diri had during the National Assembly Elections in 2023 while reacting to concerns of shutting out and alienating mainstream media practitioners from government activities defended the actions.

“Do you want me to denigrate the dignity of my office ? What is it in government that you do not already know ? If I have to speak to you, why then did I appoint a Chief Press Secretary and a Commissioner ?,” Diri said.

According to Wilson, the shabby treatment occurred during a dinner organised to mark his second tenure in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital on Feb 14.


The renowned ace photojournalist who has documented events locally and internationally for various mediums said he was duly accredited and taken aback by the attitude of the chief protocol who vehemently resisted his entrance and threatened to smash equipment if he disobeyed his orders.

“I have been fortunate enough to travel to many places in my over 30 years as a photo-journalist. I have documented the Royal visit of Prince Charles and Princess Diana to Nigeria, to support the “Better Life for Rural Women” initiative of late Mrs. Maryam Babangida in 1990.

“Also the exclusive dinner that Prince Charles, now King of England, hosted for Nelson Mandela in London, the 80th birthday celebration of Chief (Dr) Gabriel Igbinedion in four different cities, Johannesburg, London, Abuja and Benin city to many other prestigious events.

“I covered these events for News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Vanguard Newspapers and Ovation International Magazine and know the procedures and best practices for media practice across countries.

“These experiences have enriched my life and broadened my horizons. However, being a photojournalist is not always easy. Sometimes, you face obstacles and disrespect from people who do not appreciate your work. The most recent example was at the inauguration dinner for Governor Diri’s second term in office, held at the Banquet Hall, Yenagoa. The Chief Protocol Officer of the Bayelsa Government, Mr Victor Isishelle, alongside another security personnel with a big fat stomach, prevented me from entering the dinner, even though I had proper accreditation. They threatened to smash my camera if I did not leave immediately. I had no choice but to walk away to avoid any damage to my equipment,“ Wilson said.

Sequel to the event, Wilson said that going forward he will never attend any event organised by the Bayelsa state government.

“I feel very disappointed and hurt by this treatment in my home state. I do not think I will attend any Bayelsa State Government event in the future”he said .

Efforts to get reaction from the Diri-led administration were futile as officials who served in the first tenure declined to talk as the maintained that the government they served in had wound up.

Diri has yet to constitute a cabinet for his second tenure in office.

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