Monday, 31 August 2015

Gunmen Kidnap Popular Columnist in Port Harcourt, South-South, Nigeria

Ms Donu Kogbara

Popular columnist and broadcaster, Ms. Donu Kogbara, was kidnapped in front of her house in the Nkpogu area of Port Harcourt yesterday morning.

Although details of her abduction were sketchy, THISDAY gathered that armed men in police uniforms, who drove in a Honda CRV mid-sized sports utility vehicle, accosted and abducted Kogbara in front of her house.

Her mother was said to be in the house when Kogbara was kidnapped.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ahmad Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway to ensure her safe rescue.

He however expressed concern that the hoodlums wore police uniforms in their operation.
“We too are suspicious because we have gathered that the abductors were in police uniforms and used a private jeep. We (the police) do not operate like that. We are investigating the matter and hope to rescue her safely,” Muhammad said.

Kogbara is a highly regarded writer and broadcaster and has a weekly column in Vanguard Newspapers. She is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of African Access Limited, a public relations outfit.

She was also a member of the board of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority from 2009 to 2015.
She first gained national prominence in the early 1990s when she wrote a weekly column for Vanguard Newspapers from the United Kingdom where she was based.

She was also one of the few Nigerians in the UK who appeared on several radio and television shows and wrote articles in British newspapers against the actions of the late environmental activist, Ken Saro Wiwa, after the death in May 1994 of four Ogoni chiefs, who were on the conservative side of a schism within the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) over the environmental degradation caused by Shell in Ogoniland.

One of the chiefs who was killed was her uncle, Chief E. Kobani.
Saro-Wiwa and eight others were later executed for the alleged murders of the “Ogoni Four” by the Sani Abacha junta in November 1995, sparking off global condemnation and Nigeria’s suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations for over three years.

Reacting to her abduction yesterday, the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, condemned Kogbara’s kidnapping.
Wike, who spoke through his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Opunabo Nko-Tariah, expressed hope that she would be released unhurt.

He said the government was committed to ensuring the safety of all residents of the state.
“No responsible government will brook such acts of criminality. On this premise, the kidnapping is roundly condemned and we believe that by God's grace, she will come out alive.

“The government is working assiduously to ensure a crime-free state and that is why he (Wike) has stopped at nothing to provide the necessary tools including the donation of 64 security fitted vans to the police.
“By God's grace, she will be released in good health,” the statement said


ThisDay Newspaper