The Abia State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has received with great shock, utter bewilderment and despondency, the unfortunate abduction of one of her members, Mr Chuks Onuoha, by gunmen.
Mr Onuoha, a former Abia State Correspondent of The Sun Newspapers, was kidnapped at his Umungasi Ohuhu family home in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State at about 10 p.m Tuesday night, (14/6/2022), according to family sources.
This ugly development has left the Council at a loss as to why kidnappers would pick on a poor journalist whose only wealth is the byline he gets in the media which has no attachment to any fat bank account.
Journalists are change agents who ensure that society functions with correct information to engender socio-economic development. Journalists are like people who bear enlarged scrotum but would eagerly prefer to labour with every amount of commitment to ensure that the pimple on the face of the man on the street is treated while enduring the excruciating pain of his enlarged scrotum.
The Council fears that Journalists are fast becoming endangered species in the state in the evolving trend as this is the third of such ugly story.
Assuming but without conceding that Mr Onuoha may have offended anyone in the course of discharging his journalistic functions, resorting to jungle justice or taking the law into one’s hands is never the way to go, it is an ignoble act in this age and era of civilization. The law courts are there. Or, better still, any person aggrieved by any perceived professional misconduct of a journalist is encouraged to report the journalist to the Union which would apply its constitutionally approved correctional method and measures in handling such issues.
We hereby passionately appeal to his abductors to quickly release him unharmed to enable him to reunite with his agonizing family.
We also call on all security agencies in the state to swiftly swing into action to secure the release of Mr Onuoha, even as the Council urges the government to deploy all its security apparatchik for the rescue of Mr. Onuoha and to institute water-tight security measures that would eradicate the menace of kidnapping which seems to re-surging in the state.
We urge society to strive to create the environmental ambience capable of encouraging the journalist to practice his or her profession without let or hindrance. A society where journalists are not allowed to discharge their onerous responsibility of galvanizing society for socio-economic transformation and political advancement is doomed.
We must all rise up and change this ugly trend.
Comrade Victor Ndukwe
Chairman NUJ Abia State Council
Comrade Adaeze Ralph Igbokwe