Governor Akpabio Kidnaps Top Journalist over Negative Publication
By Fejiro Oliver
Money bag governor, Godswill Akpabio has launched a serious onslaught against Akwa Ibom State most widely read paper, Global Concord by abducting one of the Newspaper Editor, Thomas Thomas on Tuesday, 2nd July using the government owned State Security Service (SSS).
We gathered through a press release sent to us that he was arrested at “about 3pm around Nepa Line by Aka Road. Thomas Thomas was located through his brother who was called from MTN Office to come and claim a price. There, the brother was arrested and manhandled to get Thomas’ whereabouts. The brother was taken to Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia before the men who had identified themselves through ID Cards as SSS started to trail and arrest Thomas.
Thomas was not aware of the identity of the men who trailed him and therefore made effort to abscond from the tricycle he boarded but was overtaken, arrested and handcuffed with the men brandishing their ID card to proof their identity as government security forces when passersby accosted them”, said the statement.
Further information gathered by us revealed that Thomas has been forced to switch off his phone making him incommunicado with the outside world, while probably being tortured by the SSS. The State Governor is fingered to be behind the saga following reportage of alleged assassination plot on Edidem Ime Dickson Umoete, Paramount Ruler of Etinan and President of Uyio Ikpaisong Essien Ibibio which Global Concord reported some weeks back.
“Our preliminary investigations have revealed that Akwa Ibom State Government is behind the arrest. We are yet to know what their complains are except to think that government is acting on past prejudices that they hold against Global Concord following its hard stand against some government policies and insecurity that has ravaged the state in the past though resurging again as another election year gets nearer”, the statement further read.
The Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) Akwa Ibom Council has rather taken a shameful position by supporting the governor in his criminal act by disowning Global Concord and its reporters, simply because they refused to register with them.
Speaking on NUJ, the paper’s Editor in Chief, Solomon Johnny stated, “Again, Akwa Ibom State Chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalists has issued a statement singling out Global Concord Newspaper as being unregistered with them. We respect NUJ and are not bothered by their innuendoes and misgivings which we shall address fully subsequently. In the meantime, we have confirmed that some big shots in Akwa Ibom State who are eyeing Akwa Ibom State Governorship seat in 2015 and have contributed in huge financial terms to the emergence of the current executive of the body are not comfortable that Global Concord, the most widely read Newspaper in Akwa Ibom State is not advancing their ambition. There is therefore a campaign of calumny to puncture the overwhelming goodwill of the paper in Akwa Ibom State through the credibility question as raised by NUJ. So the statement by NUJ is like the biblical hands of Esau but the voice of Jacob. NUJ is beginning to suffocate the very constituency it (NUJ) was suppose to protect”
Speaking with our correspondent on phone, Solomon Johnny noted that they will seek every legal means to see that Thomas Thomas is freed.
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