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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More