Nigerian Journalist With Guardian Newspaper Goes Into Hiding After Narrowly Escaping Abduction By Unknown Men
Oludare Richards, a journalist with the Guardian newspaper, is currently in hiding following an attempted abduction by men suspected to be security operatives, according to SaharaReporters.
Richards, who issued a disclaimer on Friday said he was returning to his house at New Karu Secretariat, Abuja when a black Hyundai bus drove towards him obviously in pursuit to get to him.
He said he had tried jogging but the vehicle crossed his path. According to him, later when they realised they couldn’t keep up with him, two of the men jumped down from the vehicle and chased after him but with the help of body spray, he was able to escape.
However, with the fear that they could be security agents, he said he had not reported at a police station.
He has also not returned to his house and is currently in hiding and has informed the Commissioner of Police, the Femi Falana law firm and other journalists.
The journalist said he cannot remember doing a story of recent that could attract such a form of arrest or abduction.
He wrote in a message to SaharaReporters, “This is a notification of threat to life! I just escaped being abducted! I’m Oludare Richards with The Guardian Newspapers, Abuja. I just escaped what seemed like an attempted abduction by some men somewhere close to my house.
“I was returning home from an assignment. I’ve informed my Bureau Chief and a friend at Punch Newspapers. I’m in hiding somewhere now because I can’t go to the house.
“I couldn’t even go to a police station in case they are government agents. I thought to inform you in case of disappearance.
“I stepped off chasing the rights violation case against the DSS (Department of State Services) during the last assault against me because of this kind of threat to life.
“Now I can’t even go to my house or walk freely. I don’t even recall writing what could have drawn such an occurrence. The Commissioner for Police has been informed along with Falana and Falana Chambers, CPJ, AI, activists and media colleagues.”
Giving more details, he said, “I was returning home from an assignment, I didn’t drive, I took public transport. I got to the bus stop and started trekking. The distance between the bus stop and my house is not far so l started trekking.
“While doing that, I noticed a bus parked by the roadside — a black and tinted Hyundai bus. I learned how to take note of those things because of some things that have either happened to me or my colleagues in the past.
“As I was getting closer to my house, I noticed the vehicle coming towards me, then I decided to start jogging. Thank God that I did that.
“The vehicle was actually trying to block me but because I had already started moving, they couldn’t catch up with me. Then two people came down and started chasing me. At a point, I realised that I would not be able to outrun them, (so) I took a body spray in my bag and sprayed it into their eyes as they got closer to me and started running again.
“Then, I eventually got a motorcycle and asked the rider to take me to the nearest police station. On my way, however, I told myself that l might not be safe at the police station if those trailing me are government officials.
“So, l asked the rider to take me to chief’s palace. That was the only place l could think of at the time, I said if I get there, I would run inside. Immediately I got there, I started calling my people.”