Chidiebere Onyia, a reporter with the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Port Harcourt zonal office, who was kidnapped five days ago on her way from work has regained her freedom, according to sources close to the family.
However the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, said the police were yet to confirm the release of the journalist.
Onyia, a nursing mother, was kidnapped on Tuesday night at Railway line, Rumurolu, along Woji Road, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on her way home from work.
The Rivers State Council of the NUJ had condemned the kidnap, describing it as inhuman and heinous, especially against a journalist and a nursing mother.
It noted that recent attacks on journalists were becoming worrisome.
“It is worrisome and regrettable that journalists are now victims of abduction and held for whatever reason. A fundamental prerequisite for a free media is that journalists should be allowed to move freely in their efforts to serve the public through gathering and dissemination of information.
“But what we are witnessing in the country today gives us serious concern. Less than two weeks ago, a reporter with The Punch, Okechukwu Nnodim, was abducted in Abuja by some criminal elements, only to be released a few days ago. Also recently, the Business Manager of Silverbird, Segun Owolabi, escaped assassination attempt in Port Harcourt after close of work. And now, another journalist, Onyia, was kidnapped in Port Harcourt on Tuesday. This is unacceptable,” said a statement by the Chairman and Secretary, Stanley Job and Ike Wigodo of the NUJ.
The union demanded that immediate steps be taken by the Rivers State Government and security agencies to arrest this ugly development so as to enable journalists fulfill their constitutional mandate unhindered.