NUJ demands abducted journalist, Olatunji’s release

The national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists has demanded the immediate and unconditional release of a Lagos-based journalist and editor of FirstNews, Segun Olatunji, who was said to have been abducted by armed men from his Lagos home last week Friday.

This was according to a statement on Tuesday, signed by the union’s Assistant National Secretary, Akorede Opeyemi.

Olatunji, a former Kaduna State correspondent of The PUNCH, was on Friday in his Lagos home in Iyana Odo, Abule Egba area of Lagos, whisked away by 10 armed men, and to date, nothing has been heard of his whereabouts.

Opeyemi, in the statement, described Olatunji’s abduction as another threat to freedom of the press.

The statement read, “The disappearance of Segun Olatunji, the editor of First News newspapers, is another sad reminder of the danger being faced daily by journalists in the line of duty.

“Eyewitness reports had it that Olatunji was taken away last Friday in his Lagos home in the presence of his family by 10 fully armed men, two of whom were dressed in military uniform.

“Although it is not clear which agency of government was responsible for the arrest of the journalist, we believe that freedom of the press and opinion remain defining elements of the rule of law and democracy.

“For this reason, the Nigerian government needs to work to protect freedom of the press and freedom of movement for media professionals. Safety and security of journalists are very important.

“Actions like this are unacceptable and are attempts to intimidate journalists and force them into self-censorship. The professional work of journalists is clearly in the public interest, and acts of impunity against them should not be condoned.”

He called for the immediate and unconditional release of Olatunji, stressing that the demand for his release was in the interest of democracy, good governance, and the rule of law.

“Olatunji should be released immediately and unconditionally in the interest of democracy, good governance and the rule of law,” he concluded.

The family of the abducted journalist had in a Save Our Soul letter on Tuesday to President Bola Tinubu, also pleaded for his immediate and unconditional release.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *