The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State Council, has described as worrisome and regrettable the incessant kidnappings of journalists in the country, noting that journalists are now victims of abduction and held for whatever reason.
NUJ disclosed this while reacting to the kidnapping of one of its members Chidiebele Onyia, a reporter with the Port Harcourt zonal office of Nigerian Television Authority who was kidnapped by yet to be identified gunmen on Tuesday evening.
Onyia, a nursing mother, was allegedly kidnapped at a gunpoint along the railway line, Woji in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on her way home after work.
In a statement jointly signed by the state Chairman, Stanley Job Stanley and Secretary, Ike Wigodo, NUJ condemned the alleged kidnap, describing it as inhuman and heinous, especially against a journalist and a nursing mother.
NUJ noted that the incessant attacks on journalists in recent times are becoming worrisome and therefore unacceptable.
“But what we are witnessing in the country today gives us serious concern. Less than two weeks ago, a reporter with The Punch, Okechukwu Nnodim, was abducted in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by some criminal elements, only to be released a few days ago.
“Also recently, the Business Manager of Silverbird, Segun Owolabi, escaped assassination attempt in Port Harcourt after close of work. And now, another journalist, Onyia, was kidnapped in Port Harcourt on Tuesday. This is unacceptable.
“While condemning this heinous act in strong terms, we urge the security agencies to secure the unconditional release of Onyia to enable her continue her professional services to the country”.
The Union also charged the security agencies to ensure the arrest of kidnappers of the journalists in order to bring them to book and to serve as a deterrent to other criminally minded people.
Meanwhile, the NUJ demanded that immediate steps should be taken by the Rivers State Government and security agencies to arrest the ugly development so as to enable journalists fulfill their constitutional mandate unhindered.
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