Gunmen in Nigeria’s south-eastern oil region kidnapped three local journalists and their driver and are demanding 250 million naira for their release, said the journalists’ union.
A convoy of several cars carrying journalists from a meeting in the southern state of Akwa Ibom was ambushed as it approached Aba, the capital of neighbouring Abia state, said Shuaibu Usman Leman, national secretary of the Nigerian Union of Journalists.
“A Volvo car blocked (the road) and shot the tyres,” Leman told Reuters.
“The kidnappers have contacted us demanding 250 million naira … The commissioner of police in Abia state has assured us he is on top of the situation,” he said, adding the NUJ had spoken to one of the kidnap victims and that he was not wounded.
Abia and Akwa Ibom are outlying states in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s restive oil heartland.
Kidnappings of foreign oil workers and of prominent Nigerians were common in the main oil-producing states of Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta but in recent months attacks have been more frequent on the region’s fringes, including Akwa Ibom.