NUJ Demands Immediate Release of Abducted Lagos Journalist Segun Olatunji

NUJ Demands Immediate Release of Abducted Lagos Journalist Segun Olatunji

The national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Lagos-based journalist Segun Olatunji, who was abducted from his home by armed men last Friday. The demand was made in a statement signed by the NUJ’s Assistant National Secretary, Akorede Opeyemi, on Tuesday.

Segun Olatunji, a former Kaduna State correspondent for Punch and current editor of FirstNews, was reportedly taken by 10 armed men, two of whom were dressed in military uniforms, from his home in Iyana Odo, Abule Egba area of Lagos. His whereabouts have remained unknown since the abduction.

Describing the incident as a significant threat to press freedom, the NUJ highlighted the dangers journalists face in their line of duty. “The disappearance of Segun Olatunji, the editor of First News newspapers, is another sad reminder of the danger being faced daily by journalists in the line of duty,” the statement read.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that Olatunji was taken away in the presence of his family, and while the identity of the abducting agency remains unclear, the NUJ emphasized the importance of protecting press freedom and journalist safety. “Freedom of the press and opinion remain defining elements of the rule of law and democracy. The Nigerian government needs to protect these freedoms and ensure the safety and security of journalists.”

The NUJ condemned the abduction as an unacceptable attempt to intimidate journalists and suppress press freedom. “Actions like this are unacceptable and are attempts to intimidate journalists and force them into self-censorship. The professional work of journalists is clearly in the public interest, and acts of impunity against them should not be condoned,” the statement continued.

Opeyemi called for Olatunji’s immediate release, stressing the importance of this action for democracy, good governance, and the rule of law. “Olatunji should be released immediately and unconditionally in the interest of democracy, good governance, and the rule of law,” he asserted.

In a related development, Olatunji’s family has also issued a plea for his release in a Save Our Soul letter to President Bola Tinubu, seeking his immediate and unconditional return.

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