The brutal murder of a broadcast journalist in Adamawa State by yet to be identified assailants has shocked the media, raising safety concerns among journalists.
Maxwell Nashon, a reporter covering the state House of Assembly for the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) FM station, Fombina FM Yola was found lying unconscious near the broadcast station he served for a decade and half.
He was also often assigned to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during elections.
The life of the vibrant reporter whose wedding had been scheduled to hold later this year was cut short by unknown criminals.
A journalist and chairman of the coalition of Human Rights Groups in Adamawa, Umar Dankano called on the authorities to ensure justice for the victim as well as safety of journalists in the country.
Eyewitnesses indicated that the killers broke into the victim’s house near Laiden, a suburb settlement in Girei Local Government Area, at around 2 am on Wednesday night and forcefully took him away.
Then, early next day, the lifeless body of the journalist was found lying near the FM station by some women going to the farm. Personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) rushed him to the Adamawa-German hospital where he was confirmed dead.
A colleague and Union leader at the radio station, Anthony Shekara said the assailants did not take anything from his house. “They took him away and dropped him near the station tied up and unconscious.” He however said there are signs of beatings and cuts on his body.
Also, Fidelis Jonathan, a senior colleague to the deceased at the radio station and state secretary of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), said the news devastated him and other workers as well as management describing the late Maxwell as complete gentle man and professional journalist.
He said Maxwel was a dedicated reporter who always delivered on his responsibilities.
His colleagues at the House of Assembly extolled his character and professional conduct in the course of duty describing him as quiet and easy-going person who cultivated good relationship with those around him.
Jonathan Philibus, a reporter who covered the legislature for the state-owned newspaper, “The Scope” said the slain journalist was result-oriented who contributed to good governance through his reportage.
The spokesman of the Adamawa Police Command, DSP Suleiman Yahaya Nguroje said the Homicide Unit had launched an investigation into the murder with the aim of tracking down the perpetrators while it would give an undisclosed reward to anyone with useful information that could lead to arrest of the killers.
A family source disclosed that burial had been scheduled for January 21 at his hometown, Kpakmiyagi in Demsa Local Government Area in the state.