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Missing Journalist: IG Assures NUJ Of Resolving Case

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Missing Journalist: IG Assures NUJ Of Resolving Case

The Inspector-General of Police (IG), Usman Alkali has assured the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) of the police force’s readiness to unravel the disappearance of Mr. Tordue Henry Salem, a reporter with the Vanguard Newspapers.

The I-G gave the assurance when members of NUJ, FCT Council, carried out a peaceful march to his office on Monday in Abuja to express displeasure with the silence of the police on the matter.

Alkali, represented by Mr Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, disclosed that Salem’s case was with them, explaining that it was officially reported to the National Assembly Police Station on Oct. 15.

He said from their investigation, Salem slept in the house of his sister some where around Life Camp on Oct. 12, woke up on Oct. 13, took a Bolt Taxi to National Assembly, where he worked for Vanguard.

“After close of work, he was last seen at the National Assembly between 4pm and 5pm on Oct. 13, and thereafter his colleagues never saw him again.

“On Oct. 15, the matter was formally reported at the National Assembly’s Police Station.

“The attention of the FCT Commissioner of Police and IG were drawn to the case. The IGP gave a firm instruction that all materials and human resources should be deployed at locating and understanding the rationale behind Salem’s disappearance.

“As I speak to you, we have made significant process in the investigation.

“However,  I am glad that the Chairman of NUJ, FCT Council, understood the significance of confidential briefing and because of that request, I would rather do more of confidential briefing.

“But, we were able to trace when he left the National Assembly. We were able to interact with a young lady who spent time with him that night.

“We have the recordings of the last call he made. Also,  we were able to speak with six different persons he spoke to that night.

“So, there are a lot of efforts behind the scene taking place. The Police intentionally kept quite on the case.

“We call it ‘Technical Silence’, because, we want to get to a comfortable altitude before we talk to the public,” Alkali said.

He said that the suspects or whoever had a hand was still out there, adding that the police would not want to provide too much for the suspects to know how much or how far the police had  gone.

“So, I just want to give a strong assurance that everything, humanly and operationally possible, would be done to solve this case.

“We see the media as integral part of what we do. We appreciate Journalists’ collaboration and support.”

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of NUJ, FCT Council, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, submitted a petition to Alkali signed by himself and Secretary of Council, Mr Ochiaka Ugwu.

The petition is titled “Demand to expedite action for the locating of Mr Tordue Henry Salem, Journalist and Correspondent with the Vanguard Newspaper who has been missing for 12 Days”.

Ogbeche said the FCT Council was optimistic that with adequate funding, up-to-date deployment of technology, well-motivated personnel and proper synergy, the Nigeria Police Force would be positioned to rise up to the task of securing our country alongside other security agencies.

“The IG, Sir, as you are aware, a colleague of ours and a journalist of note, Mr Tordue Henry Salem of the Vanguard Newspapers, went missing on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, right in front of the Total Filing Station less than a 100 meters from the Force Headquarters.

“Some 48 hours after, fellow colleagues who cover the House of Representatives realised he had disappeared, a report was immediately incidented at the National Assembly Police Division.

“This was followed by a petition to both your office and that of the Director-General of the Department of State Service by his employers, Vanguard Media Ltd.

“This was outside calls by the leadership of the NUJ to senior officers of the Police.

“It is regrettable to note that 12 days after Salem disappeared, nothing much has happened to indicate whether he is alive or dead, whether he is captive of the State, a non-state or an alien.

“it is relevant that we remind you that the State owes every Nigerian, particularly a journalist, protection and assurance of safety,” Ogbeche said.

The FCT NUJ Chairman explained that Nigeria had continued to fare badly on the Press Freedom Index for six successive years and it would be most unfortunate if the disappearance of Salem added to the poor rating.

Ogbeche noted that in 2020, a report of Reporters Without Borders showed that Nigeria went five spots down the Press Freedom Index from 115 to 120 out of 180 countries, with the telling remark that Nigeria remained “one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists.”

He further stated that a June 2021 report of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and Media Foundation for West Africa revealed that the media industry recorded seven unresolved killings and 300 violations, affecting about 500 journalists, media workers, and media houses in Nigeria.

“What all these underscores is that the prevailing environment is unsafe, suffocating and dangerous not just for journalists and other media workers but for the sustenance of democracy itself.

“It is in this wise that we are here to demand that Mr Tordue Henry Salem not only be found but that adequate protection be offered to journalists going forward. That the culture of harassment, intimidation, brutalization, and disappearances ends.

“Our demand is reinforced by the fact that as we approach 2023, a General Elections year in Nigeria, the political and economic elites become more desperate to hang on to power and because they will not want to be held accountable to the Nigerian people, the media become their major targets.

“This culture of impunity should and must be arrested by the Nigeria Police as the primary security agency as well as other sister agencies,” Ogbeche stressed.

Journalists during the March

Meanwhile, some journalists who participated in the peaceful March spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Mr Olakunle Awoniyi of WE FM, Abuja said he was happy with what the IG said, adding that he was convinced that the Police would do the needful to find Salem.

Miss Tina Olaitan of the ministry of Information said the disappearance of Salem was not the first of it kind in the country.

“But it has to stop. It is not a crime to be a Journalist. Please the Police should look for Salem.

“If he is dead, let us see his body. If he is alive, let is know what he did. We are worried,” she added

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Politics

2023: I Will Not Impose My Successor On Rivers — Wike

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers on Thursday said he would not impose any governorship aspirant of his choice on the people of Rivers come 2023.

Wike gave the assurance in a statement issued by Mr. Kelvin Ebiri, his Special Assistant on Media, in Port Harcourt.

He assured that the leadership of the party would meet to decide who to support at the appropriate time.

Wike however said that he is obliged to ensure that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wins the 2023 governorship election in Rivers.

“One mistake I will not make is to impose somebody. From my experience as a student of history, reality has shown that it is difficult for you to say Joseph is the man I can trust.

”Until you give somebody power and money, that is only when you will know whether that person is trustworthy or not,” he said.

Wike stated that God would not allow someone who will destroy all the remarkable progress the state had made over the years to be the next governor.

”God will ensure that it is only someone who is courageous, firm and ready to protect the interest of Rivers that will succeed me.

“Rivers is a state that so many people have an interest in. It is a state that you have to put your feet on the ground. It is a state that you have to annoy a lot of Nigerians and a lot of Nigerians will hate you.

“But what is important is for you to know is what is good for your people and stand for your people. Do not allow personal interest to sway you against the interest of your people,” Wike stated.

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VIDEO: Moment Obi Cubana Met Wizkid Backstage At London Show

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Wizkid

Obinna Iyiegbu popularly known as Obi Cubana, a Nigerian entrepreneur, and businessman who chairs the Obi Cubana group of companies showed up at the O2 Arena in London venue of the talked about, a sold-out concert by Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, known as Wizkid.

Cubana like many other notable Nigerians was in attendance to support one of Nigeria’s most successful artists who kicked off the beginning of his O2 arena concert as he treated his 20,000 fans with premium entertainment for three nights in a roll.

On the first night, he had on stage with him other artistes like American Superstar Chris Brown. He also brought hitmaker Tems, Buju with the Golden Voice, British Singer Ella Mai, and British rapper Skepta who all featured in his ‘Made In Lagos’ album, as he performed songs from there.

The Popular socialite and businessman, who had shared a video of himself and Wizkid after his third night show at the O2 Arena, London wrote on his page, “Proud of you #wizkidayo“

Watch Video Below;

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Former Senate President Joseph Wayas Is Dead

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Joseph Wayas

Former Senate President in the Second Republic, Joseph Wayas is dead.

The death of Joseph Wayas, was announced by Governor Ben Ayade’s spokesman, Christian Ita on Thursday.

According to the governor, Joseph Wayas gave up the ghost in the early hours of Tuesday in a London hospital.

Ayade said the late politician has left a lasting legacy that will be remembered for a long time, describing the death of the 80-year-old as a monumental loss to the state and Nigeria.

He, however, condoled with the family of Wayas and said his death is a “collective loss and the pains a shared one”.

The statement reads: “As a state, Cross River is in pains as we mourn the passing of our illustrious son. He was a rare gem. Dr Wayas’ demise is indeed a monumental loss to our dear state and Nigeria,” Ayade was quoted as saying.

“As Senate President, Dr Wayas contributed to the deepening of Nigeria’s democratic ethos through his robust and vibrant leadership of the upper legislative chamber.

“And since his retirement from active politics, the former Senate President had been playing a fatherly and stabilising role in the politics and affairs of our state.”

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