The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the abduction of a reporter attached to the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Port Harcourt, Mrs. Chidiebere Onyia.
SP Nnamdi Omoni, the Police Public Relations Officer in Rivers, said Wednesday, that the command had deployed personnel to locate and rescue the reporter from her abductors.
He said the commissioner of Police in the state, AIG Joseph Mukan, had ordered the police tactical units to ensure the safe release of Onyia. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that gunmen had kidnapped Onyia, a female reporter with NTA, at about 6.30 p.m. on Tuesday around Woji area in Port Harcourt.
Onyia, a mother of three, was according to the report, whisked away to an unknown location by her abductors while returning home from her office at Choba area. The reporter was driving in her car with some of her colleagues when the hoodlums intercepted her vehicle at Woji area, forced her out and drove her away in their vehicle.
Eye witness said the hoodlums fired several gunshots into the air, forcing motorists and bystanders to scamper for safety. One of the abductee’s colleagues, who alighted from the car before the incident, wondered what the female journalist could have done to warrant her abduction. The colleague said: “I was in the vehicle before the incident. Onyia drove me to my destination and continued to drop others.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, and as such, we are begging her abductors to release her unconditionally,” she said in confidence. Reacting to the abduction, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has criticized in strong terms the abduction of Onyia.
A statement jointly signed by the Rivers NUJ chairman, Mr. Stanley Job, and secretary, Mr. Ike Wigodo, described the abduction of Onyia as inhuman and heinous. The council frowned at the incessant attacks on journalists in recent times, describing the development as unacceptable.
Meanwhile prayers are being raised at varied Social Media forum for the safe release of the NTA reporter.
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