NUJ condemns abduction of veteran journalist, Segun Olatunji, in Lagos, demands his immediate release


By Achiever Peterson

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has strongly denounced the abduction of Segun Olatunji, a Lagos-based journalist and editor of FirstNews, by 10 fully armed men, two of whom were suspected to be soldiers in military uniform.

Last Friday, Olatunji, a respected veteran journalist, was forcefully taken from his residence in Lagos by the armed group. His whereabouts remain unknown, sparking concerns about his well-being and safety.

Assistant National Secretary of the NUJ, Akorede Rauph Opeyemi in a statement on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, described Olatunji's abduction as another threat to freedom of the press. 

The statement reads: "The disappearance of Segun Olatunji, the editor of First News newspapers is another sad reminder of the danger being faced on a daily basis by journalists in the line of duty. 

"Eye witness reports had it that Olatunji was taken away last Friday in his Lagos home in the presence of his family by 10 fully armed men, two of whom were dressed in military uniform. 

"Although it is not clear which agency of government was responsible for the arrest of the journalist, but we believe that freedom of the press and of opinion remain defining elements of the rule of law and democracy. For this reason, it is important for the Nigerian government to work to protect freedom of the press and freedom of movement for media professionals. Safety and security of journalists is very important.

"Actions like this are clearly unacceptable and are attempts to intimidate journalists and force them into self-censorship. The professional work by journalists is clearly in the public interest, and acts of impunity against them should not be condoned.

"Olatunji should be released immediately and unconditionally in the interest of democracy, good governance and the rule of law."

Family of the abducted journalist had in a ‘Save Our Soul’ (SOS) letter to President Bola Tinubu, also demanded for his immediate and unconditional release.
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