Ohanaeze fumes as kidnappers go on rampage in Enugu

The youth wing of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has expressed outrage over the sudden resurgence of kidnapping in Enugu State.

It was learnt that between Monday and Friday, (yesterday) several travellers have been abducted along the Enugu-Ugwuogo-Opi Nsukka Road.

A road user confirmed that the hoodlums attacked commuters three separate times on Thursday. While the first attack occurred by 12 pm, the second attack occurred by 2 pm. Another group of commuters were kidnapped by 5 pm.

Earlier on Monday, Tuesday and on Wednesday, several commuters were also abducted despite several military and police checkpoints along the road.

A member of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon Harrison Ogara also confirmed that his staff members escaped being kidnapped along the same road.

“Breaking: My staff just missed being kidnapped at Opi Agu by the skin of the teeth. God is faithful,” the lawmaker wrote.

It has also been reported that the criminals are also taking hostages of travellers along the 4-Corner-Udi Road.

In a statement made available to journalists on Saturday, the National President of the youth group, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike said the development was unacceptable.

Okwu wondered how criminals became so daring to the point of abducting travellers in a road where over 10 checkpoints were stationed.

He said, “We have been inundated with reports concerning the daily abduction of commuters along the Ugwuogo-Nsukka Road.

“This is the same scenario that played out last year before the immediate past administration, in conjunction with security agencies, deployed both the military and the police.

“It is then strange that hoodlums would have the audacity to launch such attacks on a daily basis despite the number of checkpoints on the road.

“We demand a discreet investigation of all the security personnel manning the checkpoints. They should be totally overhauled.

“We consider this as an attempt by some persons to discredit the new administration of Barr Peter Mbah, the executive Governor of Enugu State. But their plot is dead on arrival.”

Okwu called on the security chiefs in the State to rise up to their duty of protecting the lives and property of the citizens, stressing that, “they should not give citizens the feeling that these bandits are now more powerful than state forces.

“The criminality along the Ugwuogo-Nsukka Road, Four Corner-Udi Road, and other parts of the State must end.

“It is inconceivable that unknown gunmen and hoodlums will enter the city centre and operate unchallenged for over 20 minutes. This is why we are warning that any plan to sabotage the administration of Governor Peter Mbah will be resisted by the Igbo youths.

“We urge all the residents to give their maximum support to the Governor Peter Mbah administration as it poised to take Enugu to a higher pedestal.”

Meanwhile, in another development, masked gunmen numbering over 30 were reported to have attacked and killed a security operative working with Central Neighborhood Watch, Igboeze North Local Government Area of the State.

The victim, identified as Onyebu Idoko, was killed while he was on his way to work.

The hoodlums had attacked the same group two years ago, leading to the death of two leaders of the security team.

An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said that the hoodlums operated freely in the area despite the presence of military and Police formations in the area.