13 days after, journalists protest missing Vanguard reporter
Thirteen days after the sudden disappearance of Vanguard newspaper’s reporter, Mr. Tordue Henry Salem, hope seems underway for his return as police authorities in Abuja have assured that he would soon be found and returned safely to his family.
Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CP Frank Mba gave the hope yesterday, while addressing newsmen, who staged a protest to the Force headquarters, Abuja.
Mba disclosed that investigation was ongoing and expressed the need to maintain decorum so as not to jeopardise the process. He narrated the steps taken so far by the police on the matter and assured them of the safe return of the journalist.
“We are as concerned as journalists and members of the family. We have commenced investigation and we have done everything humanly and technologically possible to ensure he is found. We have interrogated at least six persons and we have traced the places he visited after he left the National Assembly.
“We have spoken with the last person he encountered. We are imploring members of the family, public and journalists that this is an active investigation. We have a choice not to speak so as not to jeopardise our investigation. This has explained our silence over the time,” he stated.
Members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Council staged a peaceful protest in front of Police Force Headquarters to prevail on Inspector General of Police ( IGP), Usman Baba Alkali to ensure safe return of the Vanguard journalist, Tordue Salem, who has been missing since Wednesday October 13, 2021.
The journalists clad in black carried placards with inscriptions like; “FreeTordeNow”, “Journalism Is Not a Crime”, “Free The Press, Stop Attacking Journalists”.
Chairman of the Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche, who submitted a formal petition on behalf of the Union called on the IGP to step up intelligence and investigation to unravel the mysterious disappearance of the journalist.
He expressed displeasure at the way and manner police have been handling the matter, adding that there was need for police to give information on the whereabouts of the missing colleague since it was formally reported at National Assembly police station.
He condemned the harsh environment where the safety of journalists can no longer be guaranteed despite their constitutional role and responsibility of upholding the fundamental objectives of the constitution.