Nigeria, July 18 (Reuters) – Gunmen in Nigeria’s southeastern oil region released four local journalists and their driver unharmed on Sunday, after nearly a week in captivity.
The kidnappers ambushed a convoy of cars carrying the journalists in the southern state of Akwa Ibom on Monday as it approached Aba, the capital of neighbouring Abia state. [ID:nLDE66B1KK]
“Due to the pressure from various quarters, the kidnappers had to release us this morning,” Wahab Oba, chairman of the Lagos state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, told reporters shortly after being freed.
Oba said no ransom was paid for their release. The gunmen had initially demanded 250 million naira ($1.7 million).
Abia and Akwa Ibom are outlying states in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s restive oil heartland.
Kidnappings of foreign oil workers and prominent Nigerians are 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. (Reporting by Anamesere Igboerteonwu; writing by Randy Fabi; editing by Philippa Fletcher)