Blogger and publisher of AbaCityblog.com, Mr. Ngozi Blessed Onwukwe, has been reportedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.
The blogger, as an eyewitness claimed, was abducted by a gang of four men in a Toyota Sienna car on Ikot Ekpene road, Umuahia while he was on his way to cover an event in Arochukwu.
The source said the victim was standing by the roadside and waiting to board a taxi when the car blocked him before two heavily built young men alighted and dragged him into the vehicle.
The source said Blessed was wearing a T-shirt with the tag, ‘ABACITYBLOG’ on it as of the time of the incident.
It was however reported that efforts to reach him through his mobile phone number proved abortive as it was switched off.
His abductors had yet to contact his family or his colleagues in Abia State.
But in a statement made available to Southern City News by the Online Media Practitioners of Nigeria, Abia State branch, it condemned the abduction of Onwukwe and called on security agencies in the state to come to his rescue and secure the release of the kidnapped journalist.
The statement signed by OMPN Secretary, Mr. Emenike Iroegwu, also called on the Federal Government to ensure that the safety of journalists was guaranteed to ensure that democracy and freedom of information would be sustained in the country.
“OMPAN received the news of his abduction with rude shock, as the development again further highlights how endangered the practice of journalism has been in Nigeria and the precarious security situation we have found ourselves which will not in anyway speak well for the image of the State.
The association is using this medium to notify the general public of attempts by unscrupulous elements in Abia state at trying to intimidate and suppress online media practitioners from carrying out our duties.
We therefore appeal that anyone or group that is responsible for this mindless and shameful abduction to immediately release him.
We are also calling on the security agencies in the State to come to our rescue and secure the release of the Journalist unhurt.” The statement reads