TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu calls on Nigeria's President Jonathan to act urgently on kidnapped journalists issue

By USAfrica

July 16, 2010: The Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks and USAfricaonline.com, Dr. Chido Nwangwu, has “called on Nigeria's President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to quickly but carefully ensure the safety and release of these Nigerian journalists to their families. It is good for Nigeria's democracy and reputation that this be seen and treated as both a domestic security and international profile issue. I believe the issue requires urgent but prudent action by the presidency especially regarding the responsibility of government for public safety."

Chido, who grew up and worked in the same city of Aba in the 1980s as a very young staff of the Nigerian television and later as a print media journalist in Lagos (Nigeria), added: “It is such a terrible, shameful commentary on the state of things in our beloved but battered Aba, the Abia State and the condition of Nigeria's law and order that writers and journalists are kidnapped. Therefore, the editors and reporters of USAfrica call on those who executed the scheme to kidnap our colleagues in the once great city of Aba, Abia State of Nigeria to release, without further delay, these hard-working journalists. They are Wahaab Oba (Chariman of NUJ Lagos State council), Adolphus Okonkwo (NUJ Secretary Zone G), Sylvester Okereke (NUJ Assistant Secretary Lagos State), Shola Oyeyipo (NUJ Lagos State Council) and their driver Mr. Azeez Yekini. They have been held since July 11, 2010, while on assignment. Other journalists fled to safety when the attack occurred.”

Chido Nwangwu, recipient of the Washington Dc-based National Immigration Forum's honors in the 1990s for using the multimedia platforms of USAfrica and media to fight authoritarianism and bigotry in Africa, concluded that: “It is unacceptable that journalists, as articulators and defenders of the freedoms of communities, cannot go about their legitimate business without fear of losing their own basic freedom to go out and simply report.”

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