Monday, July 19, 2010

Kidnapped journalists arrive to warm welcome [234Next]

The four journalists and their driver abducted last week in Abia State by unidentified gunmen on Sunday, at about 6.30pm, arrived the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos to a large welcome party. The five men were flown to Lagos by a chartered Concord aircraft.

Receiving the journalists at the Concord Airlines terminal, Mohammed Garba, national president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), expressed happiness to have his colleagues released after being detained for about one week. Mr. Garba, together with over a hundred members from the Lagos State chapter of the union, sang songs of praise to God for the release of the journalists, as well as solidarity songs. “We are so grateful to God for the release of our colleagues,” said Mr. Garba while escorting the released journalists out of the tarmac.

Heat from police

Narrating their experience in the hands of the gunmen, Wahab Oba, chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the union, disclosed that the kidnappers moved them from one point to another in the bush where they were camped, adding that though the police on various occasions searched the forest, the kidnappers were regularly updated by their spies. “The police could not rescue us, for they really searched the bush but the informants of the kidnapers made it tough as they were telling them every move of the police,” he said. “It was when the bush became really hot for them, that was when they agreed to let us go, also reports from newspapers, TV, and radio stations made the kidnappers begin to wonder what kind of people we are.”

Mr Garba, while expressing thanks to the Nigerian Police for their efforts, called on the federal government to give the force all the necessary assistance it needs in order to be fully prepared to combat against crime in the country. “We want to use this opportunity to thank the police for their efforts in seeing that our colleagues were released, but we want to particularly call on the government to look into the force and provide them with all amenities needed to be able to function optimally,” he said.

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