FAMILY members and friends of kidnapped Chinenye Iwuoha, a presenter with the Pacesetter FM station of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, in Umuahia, Abia State, have reasons to be happy today. Iwuoha, who was kidnapped by gunmen, regained her freedom in the morning of Thursday, May 7.
Realnews reports that Iwuoha, a radio presenter with Pacesetter FM was kidnapped on May 4 on her way from work.
The kidnappers had asked the family to pay N20 million ransom for her release but the security agents mounted pressure on the kidnappers and she was rescued unhurt.
Janet Agbede, State commissioner of Police, CP, confirm the release of the journalist to The Nation in a telephone interview.
Agbede said that the kidnappers released her unconditionally as police mounted heavy pressure on them.
Realnews reports that some Nigerians and organisations including the Media Rights Agenda, MRA, had condemned Monday’s abduction of Iwuoha. The urged the federal government and its law enforcement agencies to take urgent action to ensure the safety of the journalist and secure her release.
Iwuoha was kidnapped by gunmen at about 7pm on May 4 on her way home from work. She was reported to have been traveling in a vehicle with the station’s general manager and the other employees when they were attacked by the gunmen who then abducted. Iwuoha.
In a statement in Lagos, Ayode Longe, MRA’s director of Programmes, reminded the Federal Government that although it had a duty to ensure the security of all citizens, where media practitioners are concerned, it has a heightened responsibility to protect them as they are performing an essential function in the interest of the society as mandated by the Constitution.
Besides, Longe said, the Government also has an obligation under international instruments which it has voluntary acceded to, to provide a safe and conducive environment for journalists and other media workers to carry out their work as well as to ensure their safety.
He noted that there has been a recent upsurge in attacks against journalists and other media workers in Nigeria by public office holders, law enforcement and security agents as well as non-state actors, saying that any failure on the part of the government to act decisively in the case of Iwuoha would likely embolden other groups and individuals who would thereby be tempted to think that they can get away with such attacks.
– May 7, 2020 @ 12:13 GMT |