The police in Rivers State on Wednesday confirmed the abduction of a reporter with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Port Harcourt.
The police spokesperson in the state, Nnamdi Omoni, said the reporter, Chidiebere Onyia, was abducted by gunmen at about 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday around Woji area in Port Harcourt.
Onyia, a mother of three, was said to be with some of her colleagues in her car when the kidnappers intercepted her vehicle, fired gunshots into the air, forced her out and then drove her away in their vehicle.
She was returning home from her office at Choba area before the incident.
“I was in the vehicle before the incident. Onyia drove me to my destination and continued to drop others,” said her colleague who had alighted from the car before the incident.
“I was shocked to hear that gunmen ‘double-crossed’ her and took her away whilst abandoning the vehicle and other occupants.
“She is a mother of three young children, we are begging her abductors to release her unconditionally,” she added.
Meanwhile, the journalists’ union in Rivers State has condemned the journalist’s abduction as “inhuman and heinous”.
“It is worrisome and regrettable that journalists are now victims of abduction and held for whatever reason.
“A fundamental prerequisite for a free media is that journalists should be allowed to move freely in their efforts to serve the public,” the Nigeria Union of Journalists chapter in the state said in a statement signed by its chairman and secretary, Stanley Job and Ike Wigodo respectively.
“What we are witnessing in the country today gives us serious concern, as less than two weeks ago, a reporter with The Punch, Okechukwu Nnodim, was abducted in Abuja, 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,” the union stated.
The union charged the Rivers State Government and security agencies to arrest the kidnappers and ensure the safety of journalists in the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, Mr Omoni, a superintendent of police, said the Commissioner of Police in the state, Joseph Mukan, has ordered the command’s tactical units to ensure the victim’s safe release.(NAN)