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Missing Vanguard reporter: Dead or alive? More questions over disappearance of journalist, Tordue Salem

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Missing Vanguard reporter: Dead or alive – More questions over disappearance of journalist, Tordue Salem

Until October 13, when Tordue Henry Salem, a Vanguard reporter covering legislative activities of the House of Representatives went missing after a close of work, nobody had envisaged that the journalist would all of a sudden become a subject of national issue for the wrong reason.

The mysterious disappearance of the Benue born journalist in the heart of Abuja, the nation’s capital, who has not been found running to a month raises serious question than answers. The constant questions by concerned Nigerian is “who is responsible for Tordue’s disappearance.”

The most commonly belief could be abduction for ransom which is prevalent these days, but given the climate of issues surrounding the disappearance of Tordue, analysts believe such is difficult to prove as there hasn’t been communication by his abductors.

Amid the trauma which the whereabouts of the journalist has caused his immediate family, journalists, colleagues at the National Assembly and other concerned individuals have wished it were an abduction, with his abductors claiming responsibility in order to be sure that he is still alive.

Analysts believe that to have been kept incommunicado for this long is certainly inconsistent with abduction for ransom, a situation that has raised fears over his safety.

A source who spoke with Daily Post on Thursday under anonymity ruled out abduction, stressing that the manner with which the journalist disappeared was more of a setup than anything to be contemplated as being responsible.

She argued that the Benue born journalist is a politically exposed person who participated fully in the 2019 Governorship election. She reasoned that the journalist was ferocious in his missives against the political foes of his principal and his attempt to protect the interest of his principal might have earned him more enemies than one could fathom.

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The source who covers the same beat with the missing journalist further revealed that the Vanguard reporter was attacked two months ago by some unknown gunmen at his residence at the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Lugbe in Abuja Municipal Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory.

According to her, he escaped by the whiskers and has since been perching with his inlaw who is eventually a 2023 Benue Governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC.

She said: “Tordue worked for a particular candidate in the last Benue State Governorship election.

“Though, the candidate who contested governorship under a popular political party lost the ticket lost, Tordue wouldn’t rest and no sooner had he switched to supporting his inlaw ahead of the 2023 general election.”

According to her, one cannot pointedly say where the travail is coming from save for thorough investigation which she hoped would unravel the circumstances behind the missing journalist’s ordeals.

Meanwhile, reacting to a protest by the members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT Council on 26th October, the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba who spoke on behalf of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) assured the traumatized journalists that operatives were making progress even as his last contact and conversation has been traced.

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The NUJ, during the protest march accused the police of conspiracy of silence, but the Police in what they described as ‘tactical silence’, insisted that they were working behind the scene to locate the missing journalist.

The Police further revealed that the mistress who spent a night with the journalist has been identified and had shed light, while he appealed to journalists to be calm, stressing that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba Alkali has issued a marching order to spare no material and human resources in locating Tordue.

Meanwhile, an operative of a security arm of the National Assembly who wasn’t granted permission to speak confided in Daily Post on Thursday of his suspicion that he might have been arrested by security operatives for a yet-to-be known offence.

Ask if a citizen could be arrested and kept for this long without contacting his family of his whereabouts, he said: “It depends”.

“The Department of State Security could arrest and keep sealed lips pending when a suspect is fully investigated for security reasons, particularly if the case poses a threat to national security. For Tordue, I want to believe that he is alive.”

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