Mariam Aminu

The International Press Centre for the Safety & Protection of Journalists (I-CSPJ) Lagos – Nigeria, today tasked security agencies and related stakeholders on the urgent need for concerted efforts to ensure the safe return of the Director of News of Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation (RSBC), Mrs. Priestba Anthony Nwokocha, who was abducted by unknown gunmen between 7pm and 8pm along Slaughter/YKC road, Port Harcourt, on Friday, July 21, 2023 on her way from work.

A report by the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) said: “Her car broke down along Slaughter/YKC road, she called her husband who later came with a mechanic to work on the car. It was in the presence of her husband and the mechanic that the kidnappers came and picked her up. They didn’t pick her husband or harm him, they just picked her and left.”

According to Comrade Stanley Job, the Rivers NUJ State Chairman, who confirmed the unfortunate incident, “the unknown kidnappers have reached out and are demanding for a ransom of 150 million naira for the release of Mrs. Nwokocha.”
He further stated that, “all efforts are in place to ensure her release and the Union has contacted CP Nwonyi Polycarp Emeka, Commissioner of Police, on the incident.”

I-CSPJ in a statement said, “The spate of insecurity in the country is alarming and is of serious concern to all”, adding that “it is very disturbing that journalists and media practitioners have also become easy targets.”

I-CSPJ is also worried about the trend of gender-related attacks as evident from the IPC 5-year monitoring report, which indicates a gradual increase in the trend of attacks on female journalists.

I-CSPJ therefore enjoined the security agencies, especially the Rivers State Commissioner of Police to do all they can to ensure that Mrs. Nwokocha is set free without being harmed in any way, while urging all and sundry to remain security conscious in the light of the evident security challenges in the country.

Melody Akinjiyan
Coordinator, I-CSPJ


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