Press Freedom: Atiku condemns arrest of FIJ journalist, calls for immediate release

By Innocent Raphael

Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has voiced deep concern over the recent abduction of journalist Daniel Ojukwu, denouncing the act as a grave infringement on press freedom.

In a statement released on Sunday via his official social media handle, Atiku addressed the disturbing incident, which has sparked widespread outrage across the nation.

The former Vice President highlighted the irony of the situation, pointing out that merely two days prior to Ojukwu’s abduction, a minister of the current administration had boasted about the government’s track record of not incarcerating journalists. However, the detention of Daniel Ojukwu, a prominent figure associated with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), contradicts this claim.

The former Vice President suggested a possible link between Ojukwu’s arrest and the investigative reports produced by FIJ, which have exposed alleged high-profile smuggling activities implicating top officials of the administration.

Atiku also drew attention to the cases of other journalists, including Segun Olatunji of FirstNews Newspaper and Chinonso Uba, also known as Nonso Ukwa of Oziza FM Radio, who have faced similar persecution.

Describing the arrest of journalists as both reprehensible and unconstitutional, Atiku emphasized the vital role of a free press in holding governments accountable.

He further criticized the timing of Ojukwu’s arrest, coming mere days after the observance of World Press Freedom Day, as indicative of the administration’s disregard for media freedom.

Atiku Abubakar concluded his statement by calling upon relevant authorities to release Daniel Ojukwu without delay, urging them to uphold the principles of democracy and respect for press freedom.

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