SCORES OF PASSENGERS TRAVELLING FOR NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATION KIDNAPPED IN CROSS RIVER

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SCORES OF PASSENGERS TRAVELLING FOR NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS KIDNAPPED IN CROSS RIVER

An unspecified number of passengers travelling for the New Year’s celebrations have reportedly been kidnapped in Cross River State, South-South Nigeria.

The incident occurred around 3 pm on Sunday at Nde 3 Corners in the Ikom local government area of the state.

On December 23, 2023, scores of travellers including a medical doctor and his son were kidnapped in Otukpa, Benue State along the Enugu – Makurdi Federal Road.

The travellers were kidnapped on Thursday evening despite the presence of several military and police checkpoints in the area.

However, the kidnapping which took place at the same spot where the Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ikom local government area, Mr Mathew Egomo and his son Dickson were abducted early in December was blamed on herdsmen who had been terrorising the area recently.

According to reports, the New Year’s Eve abduction brought the number of kidnapping incidents to four in the last month within the Nde 3- corners by Akparabong junction.

Lamenting the incessant kidnapping cases in the area, residents who told journalists that the community had mobilised to fix the bad spots on the road to allow for free flow of traffic.

The residents claimed that the kidnappers were herdsmen because they did not come with vehicles but suddenly emerged from the bush, shot at vehicles on sight and dragged their victims into nearby forests.

Residents of Nde alleged that the hoodlums carrying out the attacks are herdsmen living in nearby forests around the community and at a trailer park in the village.

A resident of the community, Tony Etim said that on December 28, kidnappers at Nde 3 Corners, Ikom Local Government Area abducted a man and a woman. Etim said they shot a child dead in the process.

According to him, the December 28 incident came three days after gunmen killed one Akpang Ayambem, kidnapped four and wounded several others at the same spot -on Christmas Day.

“These abductions continued unabated despite the heavy presence of armed policemen along the road. The kidnappers even engaged the security agents in a gun battle at Nde 3- corners by Akparabong junction. The hoodlums later overpowered the security agents and abducted their victims,” the source said.

Efforts to get the reaction of the Cross Rivers Police Command were unsuccessful as the command’s spokesperson, SP Irene Ugbo, didn’t answer his calls.He also did not reply to a text message sent to him seeking more information regarding the incident.

About Dons Eze

DONS EZE, PhD, Political Philosopher and Journalist of over four decades standing, worked in several newspaper houses across the country, and rose to the positions of Editor and General Manager. A UNESCO Fellow in Journalism, Dr. Dons Eze, a prolific writer and author of many books, attended several courses on Journalism and Communication in both Nigeria and overseas, including a Postgraduate Course on Journalism at Warsaw, Poland; Strategic Communication and Practical Communication Approach at RIPA International, London, the United Kingdom, among others.

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