The Borno Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the continued detention of Media Trust editor Uthman Abubakar by security agencies and called for his immediate release. In a statement, the Secretary of the union, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, called for the immediate and unconditional release of Abubakar, who had been in detention since Sunday.
Ibrahim said that the union had failed to secure the release of Abubakar, after exhausting all possible diplomatic means. “NUJ is deeply saddened by the arrest of two of its members and staff of Media Trust Newspaper, Uthman Abubakar and Ibrahim Sawab, in Maiduguri on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019; following a publication on military operations.
“We believe that the Armed Forces are far greater in capacity, equipment and experience than the Boko Haram insurgents; and will defeat the insurgents on any front; and that has been the guiding principle for reporting military operations.
“The report published by Daily Trust on Sunday was misinterpreted by our gallant military as it was only promoting a show of force and not to the contrary. “We implore the concerned authority to see the good in polishing justice with understanding and release Abubakar, who is still in custody.
“He is not healthy enough to undergo such an ordeal; and the Presidency through its Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media, Malam Garba Shehu, ordered the release, but it has not been effected. “We strongly reject the action,’’, Ibrahim said. Ibrahim noted that the military and media had enjoyed a long cordial relationship in the campaign against insurgency in the past 10 years. “Let us not give in to the antiques of the insurgents who will be happy with this negative trend, let us remain united to fully overcome the elements of terror.’’