Magnus Eze, Enugu
An Nnewi based businessman, Chief Ernest Otugo, his wife and friend, simply identified as Chief Reuben, have been kidnapped around Amaokwe, along the old Enugu-Awka road in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu state.
They were said to have been abducted by suspected herdsmen about 8:30pm as they travelled to Enugu from Nnewi, in a chocolate colour Toyota Venza on Thursday.
Saturday Sun gathered that Otugo is President General of Ibite Olo community in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu state while his friend hails from Awka Offemilli, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra state.
One of their children who was on the trip with them was not taken by the abductors. However, the wife was later released by her captors and asked to go and “begin to gather an undisclosed amount of ransom”.
While the operation lasted, there was anxiety everywhere as the Obioma-Nsude axis of the road was blocked. A family source said the kidnappers had made demands to the family.
There was apprehension in the state, especially as unknown persons had earlier in the day, in Enugu, kidnapped Kaosisochukwu Anioma, daughter of Frank Anioma, former Special Assistant to Senator Ike Ekweremadu. Her father said the incident happened at about 7:00am on Thursday while the young girl left their GRA residence for the New Haven market.
Meanwhile, an advocacy group for the promotion of peace and good governance in Enugu State, Enugu Youths Coalition for Good Governance, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the immediate redeployment of the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Suleiman Balarabe, for lack of capacity and commitment to secure the state.
The group, which frowned at the spate of crimes in the state since Balarabe assumed office as Enugu State police commissioner, few weeks to the 2019 general election, said that their demand was borne out of their objective assessment of the performance of the police chief and the need to protect lives and property.
In a statement signed by the Coordinator and Secretary, Ikechukwu Ibeh and Jude Onyema, respectively, the advocacy group maintained that Enugu State has been peaceful and one of the safest states in Nigeria, expressing deep concern that, “if something urgent is not done to rejig the security architecture of the state; our state’s enviable status will be jeopardised.”
They stated that the present cases of kidnapping, murder and other criminal activities being witnessed in the state were strange and a sign of failure on the part of the security agencies in the state, especially the police.
The youth group which accused leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State of being responsible for the redeployment of the former CP out of the state prior to the elections, asked them to apply the same process to ensure the removal of the present CP on security basis.
Commenting further on Gov. Ugwuanyi’s untiring efforts, the youth group stated that Enugu State is winning the war against crime, stressing that the new security strategies and measures introduced so far by Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration are already yielding positive results.