·As Rivers NUJ Council raises alarm, demands for unconditional release of Mrs Priestba Anthony Nwokocha
By Ignatius Chukwu
The new commissioner of police in Rivers State, Dr Abonyi Polycarp Emeka, is known as a man of his word since he took over one month ago to practically rescue the state from gangs and kidnappers.
Now, he has intervened in the abduction of a female journalist with the state radio station returning from work in the evening.
The Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) is leading voice demanding for the unconditional release of the woman.
Reports first came that Mrs Nwokocha had a car breakdown at the short road between Slaughter area of the Garden City and the YKC Woji area. She was said to have called home for support only for armed men to stop and abduct her.
The report caused angst and uproar within the body of journalists who wondered why any journalist would be kidnapped when it is obvious they have no contact with big money and therefore are of no kidnap value.
In a swift reaction, the leadership of the NUJ in the state called on security agencies to ensure her immediate rescue.
The statement signed by Comrade Stanley Job Stanley (chairman) and Comrade Ike Wigodo (secretary) said the NUJ was informed that Mrs Nwokocha who works with the Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation was allegedly whisked away on Friday night by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.
“She was abducted at a gun point at about 8:00pm after close of work along Ogonigba/ Elelenwo Bridge leading to the Old Slaughter Market in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.”
In the statement, the NUJ condemned the alleged kidnap, describing it as inhuman, wicked, and insensitive especially against a journalist working for the good of the society.
The statement, therefore, urged the security agencies in the State to ensure the unconditional rescue of Mrs Nwokocha to enable her reunite with her family and continue her service to the society.
The Union also charged the security agencies to ensure the arrest of Nwokocha’s abductors and bring them to book to serve as deterrence to other criminals in the state never to touch a journalist.
The statement took out space to commend the new Commissioner of Police, CP Nwonyi, for improving on security in the State in the last three months and urged him not to relent in his efforts.
The new CP has taken the fight to the gangs in all parts of the state with greater attention to notorious places like Emuoha, Ahoada and Etche.