The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for prayers for the missing Vanguard Newspapers reporter, Tordue Salem.
The journalist was last seen on Wednesday when leaving the National Assembly for his House in Abuja. All efforts to locate his whereabouts since then by colleagues, relatives and security operatives had proved abortive.
Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, at a two-day Capacity Building Workshop organised for journalists in the National Assembly in Abuja, said prayers were crucial to locating the missing journalist.
Elumelu said, “The Speaker who asked me to represent him here specifically told me to call you to offer fervent prayers so that Tordue will be found and be reunited with his family.”
Meanwhile, journalists in Abuja have demanded that the case file of Salem, be transferred to a unit under the Inspector General of Police, Baba Usman.
They stated that the case, which is currently handled by the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, required high level coordination and manpower.
Speaking on behalf of journalists during a protest to the Nigeria Police Force headquarters in Abuja on Monday, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT chapter, Emmanuel Ogbeche, said, “ We demand that the case be transferred to the IGP office and be handled by a special unit with the require skills and manpower so as to reunite him with his family and colleagues.
“We also demanded confidential briefing with the leadership of the union and members of his family.”
Responding, the Force spokesperson, CP Frank Mba, said the police had deployed technology and human resources to ensure that Salem was reunited his family and friends.
He said, “We are also concerned and we have commence investigation. We have done everything humanly and technologically possible. We have interrogated at least six persons and we have traced the places he visited after he left the National Assembly.
“We have spoken with the last person that had encounter with him. We are imploring journalists and the members of the public that this is an active investigation; we have a choice not to speak so as not to jeopardise our investigation, this explains our silence.”
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