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Journalists Abducted in Kaduna: I-CSPJ Urges Immediate Release and Safety Efforts

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The abduction of two journalists in Kaduna has sparked outrage and concern among media organizations and human rights groups, with the Centre for the Safety and Protection of Journalists (I-CSPJ) calling for concerted efforts towards their immediate release.

Chairman of University Correspondents Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna State Council, Alhaji AbdulGafar Alabelewe, and Blueprint Newspapers reporter, AbdulRaheem Aodu, were kidnapped alongside their wives and children in the night of Saturday, July 6, 2024, at their residence in Danhonu Community in Millennium City of Chikun LGA, Kaduna State.

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According to information received by I-CSPJ, the victims’ family member, Taofeeq Olayemi, confirmed the incident, stating that the bandits attacked the community around 10:30 pm on Saturday night, shooting sporadically before kidnapping the victims.

The attackers first forced their way into Aodu’s home, taking him and his wife while leaving their sick daughter behind. They then entered AbdulGafar’s house through the fence, entering his bedroom and taking him, his wife, and two of their children before leaving the scene.

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Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director of the International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, Nigeria, expressed deep concern over the increasing insecurity in the country, emphasizing that journalists and media practitioners have also become easy targets for criminal elements.

I-CSPJ is urging the Kaduna State Government and relevant security agencies to prioritize the safe release of all the kidnapped victims, ensuring that they are unharmed.

The organization is also calling on national, regional, and international media freedom groups, freedom of expression organizations, and human rights bodies to join in the efforts to secure the release and safety of the abducted journalists and their families.

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The abduction of journalists is a direct attack on press freedom and the right to information, highlighting the need for immediate action to address the growing insecurity in the country and protect media practitioners who play a crucial role in informing the public and holding those in power accountable.

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Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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