Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State chapter, has expressed dismay over the manner Chief Jones Abiri, Publisher of Weekly Source Newspaper, was whisked away by gunmen believed to be operatives of the Department of State Security, DSS, in Yenagoa.
A statement by the Council Chairman, Mr. John Angese and Secretary, Mr. Stanley Imgbi said the Thursday July 21st operation leaves much to be desired stressing that the union was unhappy with the incessant invasion of security operatives from outside the state in recent times.
It noted that, while the union would not impede in any investigation on its members, the union deserves to know the offence and who is actually making the arrest in the face of kidnap cases and other unwholesome practices carried out by gunmen.
The statement also frowned at the fact that operatives of DSS office in Yenagoa refused the union leadership access to speak to the State Director on the matter saying that they are ignorant of such arrest, the same response given when calls were put through to the office’s line.
The duo have also expressed displeasure over the refusal of the State Police Command to identify those that arrested Chief Jones Abiri despite persistent appeals to their headquarters, at Ekeki Division and “A” Division respectively.
While the council strongly believes that the police and DSS were privy to the arrest, it only wants to establish the safety of the arrested journalist.
Armed security operatives who claimed they were from the headquarters of the Department of the State Security, DSS, had on Thursday invaded the office of Weekly Source and arrested the publisher, Chief Jones Abiri over alleged unknown offences.
The armed security operatives, who arrived the publishing office in the early hours of morning in three cars with registration numbers SAG 391AA, PBT 480 AA and Lagos 193 DN, ignored questions from Journalists and colleague publishers and whisked him to an unknown destination.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Bayelsa Federated Newspapers Publishers Association, BAFENPA, an umbrella body of newspaper publishers in Bayelsa state, Mr. EasterDay Ayibatari, has given a 48 hours ultimatum to the state government for the release of Chief Jones Abiri.
Ayibatari, who lamented safety of journalists in the state, said if after 48 hours, the whereabouts of Chief Abiri is not known, journalists in the state would not have any other alternative than to take to the streets, even to Abuja to register their protests.
Ayibatari, while speaking to Nigerian Pilot Sunday in Yenagoa, said the association has not traced the whereabouts of their colleagues despite efforts to that effect.
“As I speak with you now, we are yet to know the whereabouts of our colleague, all the security formations in the state which includes the DSS, the state SCID, SARS, Police Headquarters, even the A division and B division, including Akenfa police station, and all these places we have gone and they said they don’t know the whereabouts of Jones Abiri.
“We also remember very well that not quite long, a certain police officer was killed in Yenagoa by police men who said they came from Port Harcourt. They gained access into Yenagoa here, passed through the gate way, and abducted this man, killed him and took him to PortHarcourt . We have the fear that our colleague who was on drugs, (not feeling fine) at the time of his abduction must either have been killed or his condition, deteriorated.
Easterday who noted that if somebody committed an offense, his people and the offender himself should know the kind of offense he committed, and he should be formerly charged to court, however called on the Bayelsa state government which said it is built on the rule of law, to demonstrate that they are for the rule of law.

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