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I-CSJ Calls on Securities Operatives , Kaduna State Government Towards release of Kidnapped Journalist

Elizabeth Vincent, Yenagoa

The International Press Centre’s Centre for Safety and Protection of Journalists (I-CSPJ) has called for a concerted effort towards the immediate release of journalists abducted by bandits in Kaduna State on Saturday.

The two journalists – The Nation’s Abdulgafar Alabelewe, who is the Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna State Council, and his Blueprint newspaper’s counterpart, AbdulRaheem Aodu – as well as their wives and children were on Saturday night abducted by bandits, who stormed their residence in Danhonu Community in Millennium City of Chikun LGA, Kaduna State.

According to a statement signed by Melody Akinjiyan, Press Freedom Officer, IPC, “Information reaching, I-CSPJ reveals that, ‘one of the victims’ family members, who lived close to their house, Taofeeq Olayemi, confirmed the incident, saying the bandits attacked the community around 10:30pm on Saturday night and started shooting sporadically before kidnapping the victims.

“They first forced Aodu’s door open and picked him and his wife and left their sick daughter behind. Then, they entered Abdulgafar’s house through the fence and jumped into his house. They went straight into his bedroom and picked him, his wife and two of their kids and left immediately, the report revealed.”

According to the statement, IPC Executive Director, Mr. 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.”

I-CSPJ enjoined the Kaduna State Government and relevant security agencies to do all they can to ensure that all the victims kidnapped are set free without being harmed in any way.

I-CSPJ also appealed to other national, regional and international media freedom groups, freedom of expression organisations and human rights bodies to join in the clamour for their release and safety.

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