A female Nigerian journalist who was kidnapped this week by gunmen in the southwestern state of Ondo regained freedom and reunited with her family on Sunday, according to the journalist's union in the West African country. Ondo State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Akinfolayan Owanikin said in a statement made available to Xinhua that the victim, Olubunmi Oke, was actually released unhurt late Saturday by her captors. "The NUJ wishes to thank all those who played one role or the other in securing her release from the den of kidnappers. We commend the spirited efforts made by the family and we pray that nothing of such will take place in the family and our union again, " he said, calling on the government and security agencies to step up protection of Nigerians against criminals. Oke, a reporter with the state-run Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Ondo State, was abducted by four gunmen on Thursday evening, leaving behind her a little child and a housemaid. Acording to Bennie Mordi, general manger of the state-run NTA, the female reporter was kidnapped while returning home from work. Abductors of the journalist had demanded for a ransom of 8 million naira (more than 500,000 U. S. dollars) for her release when they contacted her family on Friday. But it was unclear whether any ransom was paid to the kidnappers who freed Oke late on Saturday. Nigeria is one of the countries in the world where kidnapping has become a lucrative criminal practice.