News / Africa

Four Kidnapped Nigerian Journalists Freed

Emmanuel Ojukwu, Nigeria national police spokesman, says kidnappers freed journalists as security forces closed in on their location

Multimedia

Audio
  • Nigeria national police spokesman Ojukwu spoke with Butty

James Butty

The Nigeria National Police has appealed to all citizens to play a role in stopping the spate of kidnappings that have plagued the country, particularly in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

This comes as kidnappers Sunday freed four Nigerian journalists who had been held hostage for a week.

Emmanuel Ojukwu, assistant commissioner and first public relations officer for the Nigeria national police, says the kidnappers released the journalists as security forces closed in on their location in Abia state.

“You are aware the moment they [the journalists] were abducted by the criminals the Nigerian police launched a massive onslaught against the suspected areas, and so the criminals surrendered their captives,” he said.

Ojukwu said the released journalists told police that they were treated humanely by their captors, although they said their ordeal was traumatic.

“The hostages told us they were fairly treated. They were blindfolded, but they were normally treated,” Ojukwu said.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan reportedly welcomed the journalists’ release.

Ojukwu said President Jonathan did the right thing by ordering the arrest of the kidnappers.

Map of Nigeria
Map of Nigeria

“Every Nigerian, including the president himself, is concerned about the safety of other citizens. Wherever an event of nature occurs the whole nation goes into grief. The president did the correct thing like every other good president would do, and the police acted in line with their mandate to save lives and property,” Ojukwu said.

Kidnappings are common in southern Nigeria, although journalists are rarely targeted thanks to their low incomes.

Ojukwu said the police would like for the general public to get involved to help put the kidnappers out of business.

“We have also made that observation about prolific offenders in that sub-region, and we are mobilizing the communities, all stakeholders, opinion leaders and the common man in the society to know that they do have a role to play in their own security and then in the national security. And, that is paying off dividend[s] already,” he said.

The kidnappers initially asked for more than $1.7 million as ransom, but Ojukwu said no ransom was paid and Nigerian police are not in the business of paying kidnappers.

“The Nigerian police is against the payment of ransom to criminals. We’ve always been on top of the situation. We’ve been arresting many of them and bringing them before the law court. Anybody who intends to make money from such criminal activities will fail like others before him," Ojukwu said.

Ojukwu said Nigerian police have begun community policing to fight the spate of kidnappings.

He also said Nigerian police need training and equipment to fight criminal elements before they develop.

“We [are] asking members of the community to give the police good timely information so that we can nib such crimes in the bud. And, the police is getting more and more proactive in its crime prevention efforts,” Ojukwu said.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs