Nigeria: NUJ Calls for the Release of Abducted Journalist, Segun Olatunji

Nigeria: NUJ Calls for the Release of Abducted Journalist, Segun Olatunji

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has issued a strong demand for the immediate and unconditional release of Segun Olatunji, a prominent journalist based in Lagos. Olatunji was reportedly abducted from his home by armed assailants last Friday, sparking deep concern within the journalistic community and among advocates for press freedom.

In a statement signed by Akorede Opeyemi, the Assistant National Secretary of NUJ, the union condemned Olatunji’s abduction as a grave threat to the fundamental principles of freedom of the press. Olatunji, known for his work as the former Kaduna State correspondent for Punch and editor of FirstNews, was forcibly taken from his residence in Iyana Odo, Abule Egba area of Lagos by 10 armed men, two of whom were allegedly in military uniform.

The NUJ emphasized that incidents like Olatunji’s abduction highlight the daily risks faced by journalists in the discharge of their duties. Eyewitness reports detailed the alarming circumstances surrounding his disappearance, occurring in the presence of his family.

While the circumstances and the responsible agency behind Olatunji’s arrest remain unclear, the NUJ underscored the vital importance of safeguarding freedom of the press and ensuring the safety and security of media professionals. Such actions, the NUJ asserted, are unacceptable attempts to intimidate journalists and undermine the essential role they play in upholding democratic principles and informing the public.

Akorede Opeyemi called for Olatunji’s immediate and unconditional release, emphasizing that his detainment represents a direct affront to democracy, good governance, and the rule of law. The NUJ’s demand echoes the sentiments expressed by Olatunji’s family, who, in a heartfelt plea to President Bola Tinubu, urged for his swift release.

As the call for Olatunji’s freedom reverberates, it serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by journalists in Nigeria and the critical need for concerted efforts to protect press freedom and uphold the rights of media practitioners. In the face of such adversity, the NUJ stands resolute in its commitment to defending the rights and safety of journalists across the nation.

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