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Nigerian journalist who has written for Sunday Times still missing after 30 August kidnap

By David Knowles

A Nigerian journalist who has written for The Sunday Times is still missing after being kidnapped on 30 August.

According to reports, Donu Kogbara was abducted from her home in Port Harcourt by six gunmen.

Kogbara has written columns for Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper for more than 20 years and split her time between Nigeria and the United Kingdom where she owns a home.  She is also understood to have worked for the BBC, Channel 4 and The Daily Mail.

In her column she regularly criticised the government of former president Goodluck Jonathan and is a supporter of the current president Muhammadu Buhari.

The Nigerian newspaper The Sun published an editorial on 6 September condemning the kidnapping:

‘’Her shameful abduc­tion is symptomatic of the degeneration of moral values in the country, and we charge the nation’s security agencies, especially the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police, to rise up to the challenge of rescuing her from captivity.’’

The Nigerian Leadership newspaper reported a statement released by president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors Garba Deen Muhammad in which she called on the security services to ‘’take every step necessary’’ to ensure Kogbara’s release.

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The whereabouts of Kogbara are unknown and family members have said that the kidnappers have yet to make contact.

On 7 September Lanre Arogundade Director of the International Press Centre, Lagos-Nigeria said: “It is particularly worrisome that her abductors have not maintained any contact with her relations and friends thus fueling all forms of suspicions. IPC considers her kidnap as another assault on the freedom of the press and the right of media professionals to practice without fear, threats and molestation. She should be set free immediately.’’

Port Harcourt is in the oil-rich Niger Delta region where kidnapping is a major problem.

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