Journalists operating in Imo State, have now become an endangered group, following theabduction of Channels Television correspondent, Mr. Tope Kutiyi, by unknown armed men in the early hours of Monday.
Huhuonline gathered that Kutiyi, was jolted from his sleep by the rampaging hoodlums, after they successfully scaled the perimeter fence of his residence in Federal Housing Estate, Umuguma and whisked him away to an unknown destination.
Although it was not clear if the hoodlums removed anything from the house, huhuonline source gathered that Kutiyi’s wife was not at home when the kidnappers struck, because she went to visit her sister, whose husband reportedly died.
Meanwhile, passionate appeals have been sent to the correspondent’s captors, to release him unconditionally and unharmed.
The Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Chief Acho Ihim, who said he received the news with shock, also described the incident as
“regrettable, uncharitable, unchristian and anachronistic”.
Chief Ihim who described Mr. Kutiyi as “a complete gentleman, who does his job with sentimental attachment", equally wondered why he should be a target for kidnappers.
Reacting also on behalf of Governor Rochas Okorocha, his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, said “the young man is only a reporter who cannot be said to have been kidnapped because of money”. He added that only those behind the act know why they decided to inconvenience the reporter and his family.
“Those holding the reporter should please release him to reunite with his family. A reporter cannot afford to pay any ransom. To some of us, he may have been a victim of mistaken identity”, Okorocha said.
The Governor also reasoned that “they must have done this to blackmail the state government, having been heavily commended for fighting and reducing cases of kidnapping and other heinous crimes in the state to the nearest minimum.