By Austin Ogwuda
FOLLOWING incessant cases of kidnapping and in anticipa-tion of possible increase in crime rate during Christmas, security has been beefed up in Asaba, Delta State capital, with armed soldiers taking over the streets.
Stern-looking soldiers are manning the major entrances to the city, conducting thorough searches on motorists.
Although there had not been any serious case of abuse by the soldiers, some of theÂ bus drivers, taxi cab operators and commuters panic when they get to the check points.
Apart from the heavy presence of soldiers, armed policemen are also patrolling the streets.
On the heavy presence of the soldiers, the State Police Public Relations (PPRO), Mr. Charles Muka, was evasive, but merely said, â€œour men are very much on the ground too. We are not leaving anything to chance.â€
Meanwhile, the regional manager of Oceanic Bank and a proprietor of a hospitality industry, Leisure Homes, who were abducted recently had been released.
Vanguard gathered that the duo who were released separately, however, parted with undisclosed sums of money as ransom before gaining their freedom.
The kidnappers initially demanded N110 millionÂ ransom for the release of the bank manager, but later scaled it down to N500,000, but it could not be ascertained how much was finally paid.