Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Edo State Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Muhammed, has moved into the Ovia forest with a team of joint security comprising army, police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to fish out the alleged Fulani herdsmen said to be using the forest as their den.
As of Tuesday evening, the herdsmen/kidnappers were still holding on to three Bayelsa women who they allegedly kidnapped on Sunday afternoon on their way from Lagos to Bayelsa State.
The Edo police boss told journalists before moving into the Ovia forest on Tuesday that he was personally leading the team to ensure that those perpetuating the evil act in that forest were fished out.
He said he had earlier despatched an advance team made up mobile police and men of the anti-kidnapping unit of the command whom he said have been combing the area and were making progress.
According to the commissioner, “my team is joining them to experiment on a new security strategy we have just adopted since we have discovered that the kidnappers are using a guerrilla type of operation.
“We will also beam our searchlight on the entire communities within the area to find out if there are any collaborators in the system which is one of the reasons I want to be there personally.”
Recall that two kidnapping incidents have taken place in Ovia forest of Edo State within seven days, one of which took the life of Felix Akanbi, a Naval Warrant Officer who was shot and killed by the alleged Fulani herdsmen.
They allegedly kidnapped 18 passengers travelling from Akwa-Ibom State to Lagos en route Edo State.
Reports had it that men of the Edo State Police Command who swung into action on receiving the information rescued the other 17 passengers.
According to the report, the four herdsmen all armed with AK47 rifles opened fire on the 18-seater bus along the Benin-Lagos highway forcing the vehicle to stop before abducting the occupants.