There was jublilation amongst members of the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists on Sunday following the unconditional release of their colleague-Chidiebere Onyia-a staff of Nigeria Television Authority,Port-Harcourt Zonal Office by her abductors.
Onyia, a nursing mother, was kidnapped at gunpoint onTuesday night at Railway line, Rumurolu, along Woji Road, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on her way home after work.
Rivers State Police Command confirmed her release in a statement on Sunday.
The NUJ, had in a statement which was signed by the State Chairman, Stanley Job Stanley and Secretary, Ike Wigodo respectively, condemned the incident, describing it as “inhuman and heinous”,especially against a Journalist who is a nursing mother.
The statement noted that the spate of attacks on Journalists in recent times have become worrisome and unacceptable.
The statement signed on behalf of the State Commissioner of Police by the image maker of the Command, Superintendent of Police ( SP) Nnamdi Omoni which was addressed to the NUJ read:
“The Rivers State Police Command is pleased to announce the unconditional release of Chidiebere Onyia, a reporter with NTA Port Harcourt who was kidnapped last week.”
“The rescue was made possible due to the intense pressure mounted by the Command as directed by the Authority. Her abductors on seeing the red flag and oblivious of the fact that were closing in on them, however bowed to the seeming pressure and abandoned her, from where she was sighted and rescued.”
“She is currently receiving medical attention and will be debriefed and released to reunite with her waiting family.”
“Recall that upon abduction, the Command assured and reassured the family, NUJ and the Civil Society Groups that, with the strategies in place, she would be released in record time. Keeping faith with that assurance, we are proud to announce that she regained her freedom today 14/2/2021 at about 1130hrs, being our modest gift to the pen Profession.”
“We urge you to sustain the bonding with the Command, as we remain resolute in providing the enabling environment for all to realise their full potentials in the State.”
Onyia’s abduction had caused an uproar within the Pen fraternity and Civil Society Groups especially the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State Chapter which also condemned the kidnap of the female Journalist and called for her immediate release.
NAWOJ,had in a statement jointly signed by the Acting Chairperson, Joy Grant-Amadi and Secretary, Daba Benebo, NAWOJ decried the unfortunate incident just as it described it as “barbaric and inhuman”.