MEMBERS of the Nigerian Union Of Journalists (NUJ), FCT chapter, protested peacefully in Abuja on Monday over a missing colleague, Tordue Salem of Vanguard newspaper.
The whereabouts of Salem are unknown since he was last seen on October 13, 2021.
The journalists, clad in black attire, held placards saying, ‘FreeTordeNow,’ ‘Journalism Is Not a Crime,’ ‘Free The Press,’ ‘Stop Attacking Journalists,’ among others.
Chairman of the NUJ in FCT Emmanuel Ogbeche urged Inspector General of Police Alkali Usman to do all within his power to find the missing journalist and the situation surrounding his disappearance.
He expressed disappointment at the way the Police had been handling the matter, noting that there was a need for them to give information on the whereabouts of the missing colleague since it was formally reported at the National Assembly Police station.
He condemned the harsh condition under which journalists were working, saying that their safety could no longer be guaranteed despite their constitutional role and responsibility to uphold the fundamental objectives of the constitution.
The Police Public Relations Officer Frank MBA, who welcomed the journalists, told them that the Police were on top of the matter and investigation was ongoing.
He said the Police would not want to reveal too much of their findings in order not to jeopardise their investigation.
“We are as concerned as journalists and members of the family. We have commenced an investigation and we have done everything humanly and technologically possible to ensure he is found. We have interrogated at least six persons and we have traced the places he visited after he left National Assembly.
“We have spoken with the last person he had an encounter with. We are imploring members of the family, public and journalists that this is an active investigation. We have a choice not to speak as not to jeopardise our investigation. This has explained our silence over time.”
Salem was the National assembly correspondent with Vanguard newspapers.