Three friends, two children travelling to Bayelsa kidnapped in Edo

•The abducted friends
Three friends and two children were on Sunday attacked and kidnapped by a gang of gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen along Okada Road in Edo State.

It was gathered that the victims, Okuboere and Seiyefa, from Bayelsa State, and Amara, from Abia State, as well as the two little children, 12 and 4 years of age, were travelling from Lagos to Yenagoa when they were ambushed by the suspected herdsmen.

While Okuboere and Seiyefa are from Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa, their friend, Amara, comes from Arochukwu Local Government Area in Abia.

Their abductors have demanded N30 million ransom for their release, it was learnt.

A close family source from Bayelsa, who confirmed the incident, said their assailants had fired gunshots at them from the front of their vehicle, and that they got further attacks from behind as they tried to reverse to escape.

The source said: “The children, 12 and 4, were left behind in the car where the incident happened.

“Last night, one of them called me to inform their parents that the kidnappers are demanding N30 million.

“Despite not having jobs, these young girls have been working hard.

“One of them owns a small tailoring shop; the second sells drinks, and the third supports her husband to raise two children.”

The source said the two children were later rescued by a team of police operatives, adding that the Edo State Police Command had been contacted.

Meanwhile, Usman Nagogo, Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, said over 200 victims of kidnap have been received from their abductors in the last three weeks in the state.

Nagogo made this known at a news conference in Gusau on Monday.

He said the bandits willingly returned and handed over the victims to him as the leader of a peace and reconciliation initiative recently set up by Governor Bello Matawalle.

“Since the beginning of the peace and reconciliation initiative team assignment about three weeks ago now, we have received over 200 kidnap victims from Fulanis and Yansakai.

“We have sat with all the warring factions and they have understood that peace is the most important aspect of growth and development which is why they willingly return the victims and await for the promise made by the governor to re-establish grazing reserves, build hospitals and veterinary clinics, provide good drinking water and other amenities at Fulani settlements.

“At the moment, all the factions go to the markets that were closed due to the armed bandit activities while farmers go to the farms without any hindrance or threats,” he said.

The commissioner of police who urged residents to continue to pray for the success of the peace process and sustenance of peace in the state, cautioned politicians against politicising the effort so as to allow security agencies carry out their operations without diversion.

Some of the rescued victims told newsmen at the police command that they were tied like animals and without any shelter against rain or sun.

The most recent rescued 23 victims, comprising men, women and children, were kidnapped at Maru, Maradun and Birnin-Magaji local government areas.

Some of the victims spent more than seven months in the hands of their abductors.

After their rescue, the victims were camped at the Government House, Gusau, where they received medical and psycho-social support services before they were reunited with their families. (Daily Independent)
Mc Ebisco
Mc Ebisco

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