Journalists Abduction FG, agency, security agencies urged to speak out

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By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF), has called on all Security Agencies in Nigeria to take all necessary actions to bring Mr. Olatunji back home safe and in good health.

The foundation expressed serious worry over the abduction of the journalist Mr. Segun Olatunji who’s the General Editor, FirstNews, on Friday 15th March, 2024, urging federal government and its agencies, including the security to speak on the matter especially his whereabout.

A statement signed by Zhiroh Samuel Jatau, Manager, Press Freedom, stated that “Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) received with dismay the abduction of the General Editor, FirstNews, Mr. Segun Olatunji, on Friday 15th March, 2024.

“We spoke with his wife, Oluwatosin Alice Olatunji, his brother, Tolu Olatunji, and his colleagues. From our discussions no one has a clear picture of who and why the journalist was abducted, and no Agency has taken responsibility for his disappearance.

“However, we have seen statements by other concerned bodies linking the abduction to a story he wrote. We can’t substantiate that, but the appearance and commando nature of the abduction appears that it is related to his journalism work.

“AMDF calls on all Security Agencies in Nigeria to look into the matter with utmost urgency and take all necessary actions to bring Mr. Olatunji back home safe and in full sanity.

“The trauma on the family and colleagues is devastating. There is a deep yearning to hear from Olatunji and know his whereabouts and his condition, this will answer questions raised by his family and colleagues.

“My husband is not a troublesome man. He is just diligent in job. I most of the time ask him to take a rest but works and works. He sleeps very late and wakes up very early…..hmmmm….. This situation of his abduction is really affecting me in all areas,” his wife said.

As a champion of press freedom organization, “we emphasize that there are ways to address matters bordering on published stories by media – abduction is not one of them.

“Journalism has guidelines, ethics, and rules that guide the practice. In the event of a breach, there are steps to seek redress. We call on the abductors to release Olatunji and follow the path of redress if it is story-related.

“We also call on the abductors to respect the liberty of free speech, press freedom, human rights, the rule of law, and the Nigerian constitution, which provides for the press to operate. At all times, AMDF stands for press freedom”, it expressed lamentation.

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