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Abducted NTA reporter to be released soon, Police assure

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Four days after a reporter with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Port Harcourt Zonal Office, Chidiebere Onyia, was kidnapped, the state Police Command has assured that she would soon be set free.

Spokesman of the Command, Nnamdi Omoni, gave the assurance yesterday in a telephone chat with The Guardian while giving updates on the whereabouts of the journalist, who is a breastfeeding mother.

Omoni said reports from personnel of the Command’s tactical unit, who were mandated by the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, to ensure Onyia’s safe and quick return have received a green light.

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Meantime, journalists in the state, who are disturbed and sadden by the ugly development, have taken to their different social media handles, calling for the quick release of their colleague.

Some members of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) have threatened to occupy the streets of Port Harcourt if their colleague was not set free soon.

One of them wrote on the State NAWOJ platform: “It is time we demand that the Police be on their feet with this kidnap case. It is four days now, for a nursing mother to be away from her child is sickening.

“We can match to Police headquarters demanding to see the Commissioner to know what they are doing.”
Another reporter wrote: “Journalists work according to the ethics of their profession to bring sanity to the world, tell you wonderful things that would keep you going. They entertain you, make you laugh; no dull moments with journalists.

“What could cause anybody to abduct a journalist, a nursing mother?” She, however, prayed to God to make the abductors release Onyia quickly and safely.

Also, the Rivers State Chapter of NAWOJ has condemned, in strong terms, the kidnap of Onyia and called for her immediate release.

In a statement jointly signed by the acting Chairperson, Joy Grant-Amadi, and Secretary, Daba Benebo, the association decried the kidnap, saying it is inhuman.

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“NAWOJ gravely frowns at recent kidnap of journalists across the nation and called on security agencies to ensure that perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to book and the woman safely released to continue her maternal responsibility as a nursing mother,” the statement noted.

Similarly, Deputy National President of NAWOJ, Okonkwo Ogabu Lillian, said journalists educate, inform and entertain; hence it is indeed disheartening and worrisome that journalists have continuously become victims of attacks and kidnap for whatever reason.

“Let’s not lose sight of the fact that when the press is free and safe, the world is best for it and when the press is un-free and unsafe, the world is worst for it.

“I, therefore, call for immediate and unconditional release of Onyia, a journalist and nursing mother, by her abductors.”
She further urged the state government and security agencies to ensure her quick and safe release.

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