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FirstNews Editor, Segun Olatunji, Regains Freedom After 2 Weeks in Detention

….NSA, Info Minister, NUJ, NGE, others Hailed for his Release 

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – There was massive jubilation on Thursday among journalists following the release of Segun Olatunji, the editor of FirstNews. 

Olatunji was whisked away from his Lagos home on March 15 by men of the Nigerian Army and was kept in a detention facility at the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). 

Publisher of FirstNews, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who confirmed Olatunji’s release, said it has been two weeks of pain for his family, friends, and colleagues.

In a statement, he said “It’s indeed an understatement that the past thirteen days have been the most traumatic and challenging period for us as a media organization. Since the abduction of our editor on Friday, March 15th, by the army, our entire lives and business practically grinded to a halt. Not a day goes by without the crippling fear of his whereabouts tugging at our hearts. 

“Our fears was further compounded when for days on end, no one claimed responsibility for his arrest, not even the military who from day one had been accused of being behind the arrest. 

“So we were beside ourselves with joy when news filtered in last night that he would be released today (Thursday).”

Iworiso-Markson thanked all those behind the release of Olatunji, particularly the National Security Adviser, the Minister of Information, the leadership of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). 

“His release this morning in Abuja by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) couldn’t have been possible without the support of our colleagues, members of the fourth estate of the realm who relentlessly used the media to raise the much needed awareness and by so doing, brought enormous pressure to bear on the government to take action. 

“We salute the role played by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), International Press Institute (IPI), Committee for Protection of Journalists (CPJ), including the incredible support of numerous print and online publications in Nigeria and abroad for keeping the issue constantly on the front burner. The media support was indeed overwhelming. 

“This goes to show that there is strength in unity. The press in Nigeria must continue to come together and forge a united front to confront and defeat the evil of oppression and injustice in our country. It has always been the Nigerian Press that is in the forefront of fighting oppression and injustice since colonial times leading up to the  period of suppressive military regimes that destroyed the very fabric of the Nigerian nation. 

“While we admit that the bulk of our military are peopled by men and women who are highly disciplined, courageous, dedicated and patriotic, there are however a few of them who are disgruntled, high handed and lawless.

“We sincerely want to thank the NSA most especially for playing a very crucial role in getting the military authorities to do the needful after maintaining a stoic silence over the abduction of Segun Olatunji. The NSA must be highly commended for insisting and pushing for his release. 

“Our sincere appreciation also goes to the Minister of Information for his immediate intervention upon hearing the incident.

“We possibly cannot thank each and every one of you enough for your support and solidarity. During the period, we received series of solidarity phone calls, texts, and WhatsApp messages from friends and colleagues in the media and every walk of life. We say a big thank you to all of you. We felt love, and we really appreciate you all for standing by us in our moment of trial.”

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=94698

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