I’m lucky to be alive, says VOA journalist as she regains freedom

Obinwannem News I'm lucky to be alive, says VOA journalist as she regains freedom

The arrested Voice of America (VOA) journalist, Grace Alheri Abdu, has finally narrated her ordeals while being detained by group of Nigerian soldiers.

Grace who was arrested on Saturday, by the Nigerian soldiers stationed at Obigbo, Oyigbo Local Government Area, Rivers state, for five hours, stated that she was “lucky” to be alive.

The VOA personality explained that soldiers who held her were all drunk and intoxicated.

“They told me to thank my God that I was a female journalist, and not from any of the media houses based in Port Harcourt otherwise they would have wasted me and that nothing would happen,” she said.

Obinwannem News learnt that Grace was freed by the courtesy of intervening statements from the United States Embassy in Nigeria; directed at the Nigerian military hierarchy, those from the West African Journalists’ Association, WAJA, foreign and local rights groups.

The soldiers, however, accused the journalist of streaming her assignment in Oyigbo, as well as transmitting military operations in the volatile area live without permission.

But, the journalist denied the allegations, noting that she had introduced herself to a group of soldiers at the Obigbo Expressway as soon as she arrived the scene.

Grace said, in response, that she had sought the soldier’s permission to snap photo shots of the burnt Oyigbo Police Station, but one of the soldiers responded that it was only the police could grant her the request, since it was a police station.

Nwada Ugochinyere Onyechere reporting, Obinwannem News

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