14th July, 2010
The Chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government, Mr. Rufus Oladele Adekanye a.k.a. LADO and his Bariga Local Council Development Area counterpart, Mr. Hakeem Omoyele Sulaimon a.k.a. Oris, are unified in their condemnation of last weekendâ€™s abduction of journalists by suspected kidnappers.
Adekanye, in his reaction, said the act was not only barbaric, but has become an embarrassing trend to Nigeria as a country, especially in the eyes of the world.
He said the kidnap of the chairman of the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Alhaji Wahab Oba and his other colleagues by unknown gunmen, has set a bad precedent which, if not quickly curbed, could escalate and even extend to artisans.
According to the Mainland council boss, â€œif the abductors have degenerated to the level of kidnapping journalists who we know are poorly paid despite the enormous hazards of their profession which is primarily to protect people and the society, that means we are in trouble in this country.
â€œIt is sad that even journalists who are putting in their efforts to help shape the nation and ensure a peaceful environment are now very vulnerable to kidnappers, creating fears on the track of their professional practice.â€
Sulaimon, also fondly called Aso Ibora by his numerous followers, on his part, called on the Federal Government and security agents across the nation, to rise up to the task by tracking down the hoodlums who have turned kidnapping to money spinning business.
He also lamented that the abductors no longer have respect for the countryâ€™s security operatives as they now strike at random across the nation, just because of huge ransom which they often get.
â€œThe recent kidnap of journalists saddened me and made me to lose hope about the state of security in this country at a time we claim to be re-branding. What are we re-branding if the product always carries a dent?
â€œAs we pray and patiently await the release of our friends who were kidnapped, I use this opportunity to call on the Federal and state governments to find a lasting solution to the rising rate of crime in the country,â€ the Bariga LCDA boss said.
The Lagos NUJ chairman, secretary of the unionâ€™s Zone G, Adulphos Okonkwo, Lagos NUJ assistant secretary, Sylva Okereke, Sola Oyeyipo a Lagos-based journalist and their driver were abducted in Abia State on Sunday morning while returning from the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.