Groups Demand Immediate Release Of Abducted PUNCH Journalist

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The International Press Centre (IPC) and Media Rights Agenda have demanded the immediate release of abducted PUNCH journalist, Okechukwu Nnodim.

On Wednesday, some gunmen abducted Nnodim from his residence in Abuja.

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A staff member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the incident to SaharaReporters.

Two other people were said to have been kidnapped along with the journalist, including the child of his neighbour.

The gunmen gained access to his house by scaling his fence as they fired several gunshots into the air before kidnapping him.

Calling for the release of the journalist, the IPC Executive Director, Lanre Arogundade, said: “The spate of insecurity in the country should be of serious concern to all adding that it is very disturbing that journalists and media practitioners have also become easy targets.”

Arogundade enjoined the security agencies to do all they can to ensure that Nnodim is set free without being harmed in any way. 

Similarly, the Media Rights Agenda condemned the abduction of the journalist, urging the Nigerian government and security agencies to take urgent action to locate and free Nnodim from his abductors.

The Programme Director of the MRA, Ayode Longe, noted that although the reason for the abduction of Nnodim and two others by the gunmen is not clear, they are citizens under the jurisdiction of Nigeria, law enforcement agencies have a duty to investigate the crime and bring perpetrators to justice.

Longe bemoaned attacks on journalists in the last few years.

He said media practitioners had been kidnapped in their homes, on their way to work or from work with no effective response from the law enforcement and security agencies.

"Security and law enforcement agencies in Nigeria need to wake up from their slumber as the level of insecurity of lives and property of Nigerians, and other residents in the country has now reached unacceptable proportions and those responsible for ensuring their security appears unable to rise to the occasion,” Longe added.

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Saharareporters, New York

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