From: TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Suspected kidnappers have hijacked a commercial bus and abducted 11 passengers and its driver, in Rivers State.
The bandits struck, on Monday night, in Ndele-Elele axis of East-West road, in Emohua Local Government Area of the state.
Daily Sun gathered that the victims boarded the bus at Rumuokoro, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area at about 7:00p.m in Port Harcourt and were travelling to Ndele, Elele and Ahoada, respectively.
Sources from Rumuokoro Motor Park in the State capital, said the incident occurred barely an hour later in the journey.
The sources further said that 18 passengers and the driver, bringing the number of the occupants of the bus to 19, were in the vehicle before the incident occurred around 8:00p.m.
Further reports revealed that some other in the bus passengers narrowly escaped the kidnap.
Mr. Bright Welekwe, one of the victims, who escaped from the kidnapper that night, gave details in a telephone conversation with journalists.
Welekwe narrated that 18 people entered the bus at Rumuokoro, noting that three of the passengers whose destination was Ndele, had just alighted before the incident.
He stated that the bus after about two minutes drive from a police check point on the road, was intercepted by an armed gang and all the remaining 17 persons in the vehicle were forced into the bush on gun point.
He disclosed that when the 17 victims were forced into the bush, after a long walk, he sneaked into the bush and found his way back to the road.
Welekwe added that, when he got to the road, where the bus was abandoned, he meet four of the passengers, who also escaped.
According to him, it was at that point, the policemen later came to rescue the five of them.
Welekwe said: “We were 19 that boarded a bus from Rumuokoro going to Ahoada. But, when we got to Ndele, three persons dropped. After they dropped, it did not take long, within the bush between Ndele and Elele Alimini, hoodlums ambushed us and tried to take us inside the bush. I escaped with four other passengers before police personnel arrived the scene.
“But, I am sure they did not recover the rest people that night. Even, with the help of soldiers, police officers carried five of us to a place where we saw another vehicle and joined to our destination”, he narrated.
The State Police Command has confirmed the incident and intensified efforts to rescue the victims and track down the hoodlums.