Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Zone C (South East) has called for the unconditional release of a kidnapped journalist, Mr. Chuks Onuoha, of the Abia State Council.
The journalists said they received news of the abduction of their colleague with shock. In a statement issued Friday by Sir Emma Ifesinachi and Comrade Eze Adiukwu, Zonal Vice President and Secretary respectively, the union described as disheartening the abduction of a mere journalist “who goes about his reportorial duties without the luxury of an ostentatious lifestyle” by unknown assailants.
The union disclosed that family sources say Onuoha, who is a former Abia State Correspondent of The Sun Newspapers, was reportedly kidnapped at his Umungasi Ohuhu family home in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State at about 10pm on Tuesday, 14th June, 2022.
The statement reads: “We call on Mr Onuoha’s abductors to uncondition- ally release him for the sake of his family. Even if in the line of duty, Mr Onuoha may have stepped on toes due to his reportage, resort to self help and jungle justice are undesirable as any such infraction could be adequately handled by the courts as is expected in a democracy like ours.
“Mr Onuoha, like other Journalists, work to en- sure that society functions with correct information to engender socio-economic development. They are the voice of the voiceless in the society.
“Most worrisome is the spate of attacks on journalists who have become endangered species in the society, especially in Abia as this is the third of such incident. Government and security agencies should swing into action to secure the release of Mr Onuoha.”
The union called for more security personnel to be deployed in the state and ensure that such incidents are nipped in the bud.
“We call on the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Commissioner of Police and other government functionaries to ensure the safety of Journalists and the media industry. This is because when the press is gagged or intimidated by such attacks, then the society can never be free,” the group added.