*… as NHRC says no place for enforced disappearance in modern history
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri & Peter Duru, ABUJA
President General of Mdzough U Tiv worldwide, Chief Iorbee Ihag has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene by ordering security agencies to intensify the search to locate the missing journalist, Tordue Salem.
Also, the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, yesterday urged the Nigerian Police and other law enforcement agencies in the country to do everything within their powers to locate missing Vanguard reporter, Tordue Salem.
Salem, who covers the National Assembly for Vanguard Newspaper, went missing on October 13, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Reacting to the development, the NHRC, through its Executive Secretary, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, said there was no place for enforced disappearance in modern history, describing the act as one of the worst human rights violations that leave the victims, family members and the society traumatized.
The NHRC boss said there was need for the government to do more in providing adequate security for everyone living in Nigeria.
According to him, “It was needless for family members of the journalist to go searching for him in hospital mortuaries and police stations if the security situation and intelligence gathering was better.”
He said the Commission stood for press freedom and would continue to advocate for same.
Ojukwu, in a statement by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, at NHRC, Fatimah Mohammed, said a free press was important “because people are able to express themselves in a constructive manner such that the views and concerns of ordinary people are also heard.”
He noted that journalists serve as the watchdogs of any society and should be allowed to do their work without harassment and intimidation.
“Their role is crucial in a democratic society like ours,” he stated, even as he described enforced disappearance as one of the hazards associated with the practice of journalism in Nigeria.
While calling on the authorities to respect the rights of journalists, Ojukwu, urged journalists to always work within the ambit of the law and ethics of the profession.
“He assured the family members of the Commission’s support to ensure that Tordue Salem is found and reunited with them,” the statement added.
Appeals to Buhari
President General of Mdzough U Tiv worldwide, Chief Ihag, in a statement in Makurdi, said the disappearance of the Journalist had traumatized his family members as well as colleagues.
He noted that the issue had become a dent on the image of the country hence the need for all capable hands to be deployed to locate the journalist without further delay.
Part of the statement read, “I call on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter.
“The Inspector General of Police and all security agencies should search and locate the missing Tordue Saleh that went missing since October 13, 2021.
“He is a journalist working with Vanguard Newspapers covering the House of Representatives, he cannot just go missing like that without a trace.
“We condemn the abduction of the journalist. We task security agents to produce him alive to enable him reunite with his family and colleagues who have become traumatized over his disappearance.”
“His continued disappearance has become a dent on the image of our country and there is the urgent need for all capable hands to be deployed to locate his whereabouts without further delay.”