The International Press Institute (IPI) Nigeria on Thursday called on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies, including the Department of State Service (DSS) to immediately launch an investigation into the abduction and subsequent killing of Hamisu Danjibga, a reporter of Voice of Nigeria (VON) in Zamfara State.
Danjibga was abducted in his house in Samaru Community in the heart of Gusau, the Zamfara State capital last Sunday around 8pm.
The abductors, according to his relations, called 24 hours after the incident and demanded one million naira as part payment before they placed full ransom for his release. Three days later, his dead body was found in a soakaway behind his house.
IPI Nigeria Legal Adviser, Tobi Soniyi, in a press statement, described the circumstances surrounding the abduction and killing of the journalist as both shocking and deeply concerning.
He said the brazenness with which Danjibga was abducted and killed in a major city like Gusau was an indication of how unsafe Nigeria has become.
IPI Nigeria, therefore, restated its call for a swift and thorough investigation into the abduction and murder of Hamisu Danjibga to ensure that those responsible were brought to justice.
It also called for increased security measures to protect journalists and citizens in all parts of Nigeria.
Danjibga was one of the journalists reporting the activities of criminal elements, especially bandits, kidnappers and their collaborators.
“We believe he was targeted because of his profession as a journalist”, IPI Nigeria said, adding that “Unless the perpetrators of this heinous crime are arrested and prosecuted, they are likely to become emboldened and will go after other journalists”.
The Director General of VON, Osita Okechukwu, who also called on security agencies to fish out “the terrorists” and prosecute them immediately, described the deceased as a dedicated and diligent reporter who served in different capacities in his long career.
On his part, the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo in a statement said “The death of Hamisu is a clear act of intimidation designed to force journalists into self-censorship and eventually silence them.”
The Zamfara Council of the NUJ had in a statement on Wednesday in Gusau by its Secretary Ibrahim Ahmad said “The discovery of his corpse was as result of unpleasant odour observed by children of an Islamic school behind his house in the evening of Wednesday September 20, 2023.
“After breaking the soakaway, the dead body was confirmed to be that of Danjigba by his family and some neighbours.”
NAN had earlier reported that the police had arrested one person suspected of involvement in the killing of the veteran journalist.
The remains of the deceased had since been buried in Gusau, the Zamfara capital, according to Islamic rites.
Until his murder, the late Danjigba was the Zamfara Correspondent of the Hausa Service, Voice of Nigeria (VON).
He also reported for the Vision FM Radio and Farin Wata TV.