MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Usman Bello
A Lagos based online publisher; Mrs. Philomena Ngozi Christopher-Oji, has raised alarm over threat to her life by unknown gunmen. The gunmen have threatened to send her to early grave for publishing what they described as negative stories against their undisclosed master.
The cornerstonenewsng.com publisher, told AtlanticNewsonline on Wednesday that she did not know the particular stories she published that could have warranted the threat to her life. She disclosed that she started receiving threats on WhatsApp calls after she granted press interviews that verged on the state of the nation and questionable Elections conducted by the All Progressive Congress ( APC) led government.
According to her, “in the interview, I had stated the obvious that former President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration and his APC government had set Nigeria one step forward and 20 steps backwards, and that Nigerians should not expect miracle from the incoming administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu , since he is from the same APC as Buhari.
“Also, I talked on ethnic profiling in Lagos, during the last General Elections, especially the gubernatorial election , that was marred by fraud, killings and rigging. I talked on the fraudulent elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) led by its’ Chairman, Prof Mohammed Yakubu. Since I granted the interviews which were published by online media, my life has not been the same. I have been bombarded with WhatsApp calls with the threat to leave Lagos or risk being killed.
Intially, my husband; also a journalist convinced me that the callers were just making empty threats, but I was shocked when a group of men, armed with guns, tried to force me into their Sienna Bus, but I took to my heels and escaped by devine intervention.
The driver of the vehicle who knew that they may not get me zoomed off. Just two weeks ago, two boys on a commercial motorcycle, populaly known as Okada, called my name, Mrs. Oji along Iju road , Lagos, probably to make sure that I was the person, they were trailing, but due to series of threat to my my life on WhatsApp calls, I pretended that I was not the person that they were looking for, so they snatched my handbag containing my ID card, a flash drive, some documents, including some stories, and my curriculum vitae. I have to report the missing documents to Area F Police Station, where I was issued a Police report.
“But I have decided to raise alarm following another WhatsApp Phone call that I received, saying that “you escaped again, but we will soon get you. My husband advised that I should drop my phone and start using another number. I am raising this alarm to well-meaning Nigerians and the Nigeria Police Force ( NPF), to do something drastic about the threat to my life.
“My life and that of my family members are not safe . I do not know who is really after my life. I do not know where the threats are coming from. I am a law abiding citizen. I was a Banker before I decided to become a Journalist and I have a clean carrier. I live my life as a good citizen and I believe in fundamental human rights. But with the killings that happen daily in Nigeria by unknown gunmen, I am in hiding as my life is under serious threat.
“I do not sleep at home anymore. I have become a refugee in my country. The Nigeria Police Force that I know has no capacity to help because many policemen have even been killed by unknown gunmen and nobody has been arrested in connection with the murder. Many police aides attached to powerful politicians have also been killed, yet the killings have not been traced to anyone, and there are many unresolved murders in Nigeria, from the Editor-in-Chief of the Newswatch Magazine, Mr Dele Giwa, Nation Newspapers Reporter Edon, Thisday Correspondent, Vanguard Reporter, not to talk of an online publisher like me.
“I feel for my husband and my two children, because if I die, I may not feel it, but my family will miss me alot. I have the fellings that I am being monitored to be killed, and I have no money for police aides. Who is going to protect the poor. My life is meaningless now because I am no more living my life. I cannot go to the market, Church and even do my job again because assassin’s are trailing me.
“My life is in shambles because I am unfortunate to come from a country called Nigeria where the government does not care for the masses and where premium is no longer paid on lives. Where someone will be killed and life goes on as if nothing happened. Because of what is happening in Nigeria, Journalists have been intimidated that they can no longer practice the job of holding the government accountable. I am now a confused person for speaking the truth about my country”.