By Frank Oshanugor
There seems to be some hope on the horizon for the safe return of the missing Vanguard newspaper reporter; Mr. Tordue Henry Salem as police authorities in Abuja have assured that he would be found and returned safely to his family soon.
Force Public Relations Officer, (FPRO) Commissioner of Police Frank Mba who addressed protesting journalists at the Force headquarters in Abuja on Monday disclosed that investigation was in progress and that there was need to maintain silence so as not to jeopardise investigation.
He narrated the steps taken so far by the police on the matter and assured them of safe return of the journalist.
“We are as concerned as journalists and members of the family. We have commenced investigation and we have done everything humanly and technologically possible to ensure he is being found. We have interrogated at least six persons and we have traced the places he visited after he left National Assembly
” We have spoken with the last person he had encounter with. We are imploring members of the family, public and journalists that this is an active investigations. We have a choice not to speak as not to jeopardise our investigation. This has explained our silence over the time”, he stated.
Members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ ) FCT Council on Monday staged a peaceful protest in front of Police Force Headquarters to prevail on Inspector General of Police ( IGP); Usman Baba Alkali to ensure safe return of the Vanguard journalist, Tordue Salem. who has been missing since Wednesday October 13th 2021.
The journalists clad in black carried placards with inscriptions like; FreeTordeNow, Journalism Is Not a Crime, Free The Press, Stop Attacking Journalists.
The Chairman of Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche who submitted a formal petition on behalf of the Union called on the Inspector General of Police to step up Intelligence and investigation to unravel the mysterious disappearance of the journalist.
He expressed displeasure at the way and manner police have been handling the matter adding that there was need for police to give information on the whereabouts of the missing colleague since it was formally reported at National Assembly police station.
He condemned the harsh environment where the safety of journalists can no longer be guaranteed despite their constitutional role and responsibility of upholding the fundamental objectives of the constitution.
Salem, who is a reporter with Vanguard Newspapers was the National Assembly (House of Representatives) Correspondent of the paper . He was last seen on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 and has remained unreachable till date.