Murder of VON correspondent: IPI, NUJ demand thorough investigation
Bilkisu Halilu Pai, Abuja
The International Press Institute (IPI) Nigeria and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Thursday called on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies, including the State Security Service (SSS) to immediately launch an investigation into the abduction and subsequent killing of Hamisu Danjibga, a Reporter of Voice of Nigeria (VON) in Zamfara State.
According to reports, Danjibga was abducted in his house in Samaru Community in the heart of Gusau, the Zamfara State capital last Sunday at about eight o’clock in the evening.
The abductors, according to his relations, called twenty-four hours after the incident and allegedly demanded one million naira as part payment before they place full ransom for his release. Three days later, his dead body was found in a soak away in the Samaru Community.
In a press statement issued today by IPI Nigeria Legal Adviser, Mr. Tobi Soniyi, it described the circumstances surrounding the abduction and killing of the journalist as both shocking and deeply concerning, said the brazenness with which Danjibga was abducted and killed in a major city like Gusau is an indication of how unsafe Nigeria has become.
IPI Nigeria, therefore, reiterated its call for a swift and thorough investigation into the abduction and murder of Hamisu Danjibga to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. It also called for increased security measures to protect journalists and citizens in all parts of Nigeria
Hamisu Danjibga was one of the journalists reporting the activities of criminal elements, especially armed bandits, kidnappers and their collaborators.
“We believe he was targeted because of his profession as a journalist”, IPI Nigeria said, adding that “Unless the perpetrators of this heinous crime are arrested and prosecuted, they are likely to become emboldened and will go after other journalists”.
On its Part, the NUJ Chairman, Chris Isiguzo in a statement said “the death of Hamisu is a clear act of intimidation designed to force journalists into self-censorship and eventually silence them.”
Both bodies reiterated their call for protection for journalists and other media professionals across Nigeria, whom they said, are strongly committed to upholding good governance and democracy by protecting the ethos of whistleblowing, as well as freedom of expression in the country.