13th July, 2010
After 24 hours of silence, two of the kidnapped journalists, Mr. Wahab Oba and Mr. Adophus Okonkwo were allowed to speak with the National Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, yesterday and they used the opportunity to cry out for freedom.
It was also gathered that the kidnappers had reduced the ransom from N250 million to N150 million, while negotiation was still on.
Not leaving anything to chance, the National Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ yesterday engaged in marathon prayers, seeking divine intervention for God to rescue the kidnapped journalists.
Also, Governor Babatunde Fashola sent an emissary to the headquarters of the Lagos council of the union at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria to inquire about the welfare of the kidnapped journalists.
According to the Vice Chairman, Lagos Chapter of the NUJ, Mr. Deji Elumoye, two of the kidnapped journalists were finally allowed to speak with the National Secretary of the union and that they said they were fine and only needed freedom.
Elumoye quoted Wahab as saying that they were well taken care of by the kidnappers and that there was no cause for alarm, adding that the kidnappers later spoke with the leadership of the union and asked when the money would be ready.
The NUJ vice chairman disclosed that Fashola has sent his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello to inquire about the wellbeing of the kidnapped journalists and that if there was any area he could help victims.
The governor was said to have sympathised with the union over the victims and assured that he would do all he could to assist the union to ensure that the kidnapped journalists were released.
Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Ola Makinde has condemned the kidnap of the four journalists and a driver and called the Federal Government to do everything possible to secure their release.
In a release from the Churchâ€™s Head of Media and Communications, Reverend Oladapo Daramola, the cleric said it was important that the spate of kidnappings in the country, which had reached a ridiculous and alarming rate, must be dealt with as a matter of national importance.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ogbonna Onovo has ordered the deployment of a crackÂ team of detectives from Imo and Akwa Ibom States to assist in efforts to rescue the four kidnapped journalists and their driver.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu, stated that the IGP gave the order to the commissioners of police in the two states on Sunday, saying that the police were deeply concerned about the abduction of the journalists.
According to him, the IGP had directed that the journalists be rescued unhurt and their abductors â€œfished out and brought to justiceâ€.