NUJ demands immediate release of abducted FirstNews editor

GodGift Ifunanya
2 Min Read

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the abduction of a Lagos-based journalist and editor of FirstNews, Segun Olatunji, by suspected soldiers.

Olatunji, a veteran journalist was whisked away last Friday by 10 armed men from his Lagos home and till date had not been found, causing panic about his health condition and whereabouts. 

Assistant National Secretary of the NUJ, Akorede Rauph Opeyemi, in a statement on Tuesday, described Olatunji’s abduction as another threat to freedom of the press. 

The statement read: “The disappearance of Segun Olatunji, the editor of FirstNews newspapers is another sad reminder of the danger being faced on a daily basis by journalists in the line of duty.

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 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 the government was responsible for the arrest of the journalist, but we believe that freedom of the press and of opinion remain defining elements of the rule of law and democracy. 

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

It said actions like that were clearly unacceptable and were attempts to intimidate journalists  and force them into self-censorship. 

The statement noted that the professional work by journalists is clearly in the public interest, and acts of impunity against them should not be condoned.

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

Recall that the family of the abducted journalist had in a Save Our Soul (SOS) letter to President Bola Tinubu, also demanded his immediate and unconditional release.

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