One Month After, Anambra Journalist, Onwuasoanya Still Missing

By Izunna Okafor
Barrister Mathew Onwuasoanya
Barrister Mathew Onwuasoanya

Tuesday, 30th June 2020 made it exactly one month that National Light Newspaper's reporter, Barrister Mathew Onwuasoanya got missing.

Aged 49, Barr. Onwuasoanya, a renowned journalist working with the Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC) was said to have been whisked away from his residence at Nise, in Anambra State, around 2am on 30th May, by unknown gun-bearing men dressed in what looks like security men's uniform.

The bizarre disappearance of this humble and resourceful journalist has not only remained a source of worry to his organisation; it has also been an issue of unreserved concern to the entire members of Nigerian Union Journalists, and Anambra State Government, being the first of its kind such has been heard of Anambra Journalist since the creation of the State in 1991.

Earlier in a letter addressed to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ),

Anambra State Council to that effect, the MD/CEO, Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, Sir Chuka Nnabuife, noted some of the efforts the organisation had made so far on the matter and called for collective efforts towards the rescue of the missing journalist.

Dated 12/6/2020, the letter reads in part, "Please there is a serious matter in our hand, here in Ananmbra Newspapers and Printing Corporation, ANPC: One of our (National Light Newspaper's) journalists/reporters, Barrister Mathew Onwuasoanya, Male, fair in complexion, aged 49, personal telephone numbers, 07086738854 and 07032770194 has not been seen neither in office nor at his residence in Ngodo, Nise, since the night of Friday, 29th May, 2020.

"We have been expecting him at work until his only brother, Mr Oliver Onwuasoanya, 07031318440, arrived our office on Monday, June 8, 2029 and told us they are searching for him.

"Thereafter, we commenced action on search for him. His brother has lodged complaints to CPS and the CP's office with his photograph and vital information.

"At his residence, neighbours told his brother that at about 2am on May 30, some vehicles, comprising a white Hilux truck and a Highlander with some gun-bearing men dressed in what looks like security men's uniform came and whisked him away. That is the much they said.

"Prayer: Kindly use your good office to help rescue this very active and resourceful Journalist as the development if not tackled, may live a big dent on the image of media practice in Anambra State."

In his latest reaction on the matter, the Police Public Relation Officer, Anambra State Police Command, Haruna Mohammed said, "The Command is deeply saddened over this unfortunate incident and is making a frantic effort to rescue him and unravel the circumstances surrounding his disappearance."

He also assured of more intensified efforts on the part of the Command towards securing his release.

Be it as it may, it is both surprising, fremd and disappointing that this happened in Anambra State credited with the Nigeria's safest state status, and yet this journalist is still missing after one month of his abduction.

Is Mathew Onwuasoanya going to be the first Anambra Journalist to die in the hands of abductors or kidnappers? God forbid!

Ipso facto therefore, anybody who has relevant information that would be of help in the course of this investigation/search and rescue of this gentleman should please contact 08060970639 or 07031318440.

Barr. Mathew Onwuasoanya must be rescued..