by Akan Ido
Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan has condemned the kidnap of 14 journalists by gunmen in Oproza, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South west Local Government Area of the state. Uduaghan expressed his misgivings at the 2014 press week of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Tuesday.
The governor described the incident as unfortunate. He also announced that President Goodluck Jonathan had ordered full investigation into the kidnap incident, adding that those found guilty would be punished.
The journalists had been kidnapped over the weekend after going to cover an event at the Ogidigben Gas Plant in Warri, Delta State. President Goodluck Jonathan was earlier expected to commission the $16 billion export processing zone project, but the event was called-off.
One of the journalists, Channels Television’s energy correspondent, Olu Philips, said that himself and the others had boarded a boat on their way back to Warri when they were accosted by the kidnappers off the creeks of Gbaramatu, in Delta State’s riverine area.
“Around 11 am, we saw another speed boat coming behind us. They were about six boats. They caught up with us, asked us to stop and surrounded us.
“They had guns with them and they asked us where we were coming from and we told them we went there to cover an event. They said we were spies and they collected our camera and put it in another boat, after hitting the camera man.
“They made some calls and decided to take us to Gbaramatu. They took us to a High Chief popularly known as Tompolo.
“They beat up some other persons that were not journalists. After beating them, they handed them a rifle with three magazine and asked us to stand behind them that we were criminals and that they saw the rifle and pistols with us. They took photographs of us and were posting it on the internet that we were all criminals, Philips said.
According to Philips, the abductors made several threats and held them hostage till the early evening before some Naval officials arrived took them away from captivity.