TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Gunmen have abducted five persons working with an indigenous oil company in Rivers State.
Our correspondent gathered that the bandits allegedly met their victims, while they were working at an oil facility on the high sea in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.
It was noted that the five oil workers were said to have been kidnapped within the OML 55 operational area of the firm, Belemaoil Producing Limited in Akuku-Toru LGA.
According to sources, the victims are staffers of a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) and a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, BGP, who are contractors of Belemaoil.
A source who pleaded not to be mentioned, stated: “They were working at a site of ongoing Seismic Operation by Belemaoil, when they were abducted on Monday, May 13, 2019.”
Reacting to the incident, the Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers, has condemned the kidnap of the five contract workers of Belemaoil by the gunmen.
The Chairman, Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers, King Kroma Eleki, in his reaction, said the act was inimical to the development of the area and could cause social disorder in the area.
He called for immediate and unconditional release of the oil workers and for improved security along the Kula waterways.
Eleki further lamented that the kidnap of the five oil workers confirmed their earlier position that an oil multinational company was colluding with some persons in Kula to undermine the security of the area in a bid to forcefully resume oil operation in the Kula territory.
Also speaking, the Secretary of the Kula Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers, King Bourdillon Ekine, wondered why such a criminal act would be targeted at the Seismic Operation of Belemaoil that has meaningfully engaged and employed over 5,000 youths since the operation began last year.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident to journalists in Port Harcourt.
Omoni noted that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Usman Belel, had ordered a manhunt for the kidnappers, assuring that the victims would be released unhurt.