Gunmen have abducted a PUNCH journalist, Okechukwu Nnodim, from his house in the Arab Road area of Kubwa, Abuja, on Wednesday night.
The kidnappers also attacked his neighbours and went away with the two sons of a widow, Mrs. Faith Gbeyide.
Narrating the incident on Thursday, Nnodim’s wife, Oluchi explained that her husband was working on his laptop when five strange men scaled the fence and entered their compound while ordering them to open the door.
She said the gunmen fired several shots at the windows and subsequently pulled down the burglary proof after which they forced open the front door.
“My husband asked me to stay with the children in their room. I heard the men asking him to bring out money but he told them he didn’t have money in the house.
“They took our phones and marched him out of the house. They went to our neighbour’s house and also abducted her two sons.”
Madam Gbeyide explained that her son opened the door when the men threatened to kill them if they refused.
She stated: “They took the N9,000 in my purse, upturned the television set in the room, and went away with my first son. My second son started following them and they also took him away.”
The FCT police spokesperson, ASP Miriam Yusuf, confirmed the incident.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Council, has called for the immediate release of Nnodim.
A press statement released by the Council Friday, jointly signed by Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche and Ochiaka Ugwu, chairman and secretary, respectively, condemned the heinous act in totality and called for the unconditional release of Nnodim for him to be reunited with his family and colleagues.
According to the statement: “It is unacceptable that a journalist is abducted and held for whatever reason. A fundamental pre-requisite for a free media is that journalists be allowed to move freely in their efforts to gather and transmit information.
“While condemning this heinous act in strong terms, we urge the kidnappers to release the journalist immediately, and charge the security agencies to do all they can to ensure that Nnodim and all those held by kidnappers and bandits are rescued while the perpetrators are brought to justice.
“It is time journalists stop being endangered species for doing their constitutional duties. It is unfortunate that other forms of harassment against the press are becoming frequent.
“It is worrying that journalists have been assaulted while covering events and several others have reported receiving threats over their work.
“As a Council, we demand that immediate steps be taken to arrest this ugly development so that journalists can fulfill their constitutional mandate unhindered.”