From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Ex-Akwa Ibom South senator Nelson Effiong has been reportedly abducted. Sen Effiong was said to have been abducted at about 9 pm Sunday at his newly opened highbrow club along Oron Road in Uyo.
This is the second time that Effiong has been abducted, having earlier been taken hostage in 2009, two years after leaving office as the third Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in 2007.
A former aide who craved anonymity confirmed to Daily Sun that Effiong had to pay out N21 million as ransom before he was released by his abductors.
His latest abduction reportedly undertaken by three armed hoodlums is said to have led to several people sustaining injuries either from stray bullets fired by the hostage-takers or a from stampede from the panic that ensued during the attack.
A man identified as Ekwere was said to have been one of those hit by a stray bullet in the process, reportedly posting on social media: ‘I have just been shot; I have been shot along Oron Road,’ as he urged authorities to rescue the situation.
Effiong, the first senator to defect from the PDP to the APC in Akwa Ibom in 2018 to pave way for Sen Godswill Akpabio to also defect, opened the Millionaires’ Club at Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo, as well as Tabasco Transport Company just before completing his tenure as the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. Those two outfits have since folded.
‘The incident occurred at about 9:00 pm on Sunday night. The armed men stormed the sit-out with a Toyota Camry car and started shooting sporadically at random, sending the customers and other guests to scamper for safety before they made straight to the former senator,’ a source told Daily Sun.
Effiong was reportedly taken by the gunmen in a Toyota Camry car to unknown destination, possibly for ransom negotiation, leaving his Prado SUV behind at the club.
Akwa Ibom Commissioner of Police Mr Amiengheme Andrew has assured that ‘there will be a statement on the matter.’
The state chapter of the APC, responding through party spokesman Mr Nkereuwem Enyongekere, said the party was still awaiting confirmation of the incident by the police.
‘It did not happen in Oron. It happened in Uyo. So, we are waiting for formation by the police,’ he said.
Effiong is from Oron and was thwarted from returning to the Senate by another Oron politician and former Minister for Lands Sen Akon Eyakenyi of the PDP.