ByÂ Eric Ugbor
ABAâ€”Kidnappers last week went on rampage at the Ogbor Hill area of the commercial town of Aba in Abia State, abducting five persons,Â includingÂ a popular TV preacher, Evanglist Jacob Achilefu of the Church of Christ, Aba.
The nefarious activities of the hoodlums had continued unabated especially in Abia South senatorial zone of the state, despite various security measures adopted by the state government to check the development.
Evangelist Achilefu,Â was kidnapped along the Aba- Ikot EkpeneÂ highway.
According to a reliableÂ source, Dr. Achilefu was kidnapped asÂ he was returning from the National Institute of Technology, NITS, an arm of the Church of Christ located in Onicha Ngwa, in the state.
The evangelist who was traveling in company of his driver and secretary,Â was held hostage in the forestÂ and regained his freedom after paying the sum of N2millionÂ ransom.
Few days after the clergymanâ€™s abduction, another gang of six gunmen stormed the Grail Centre on Opobo Road,Â also in Ogbor Hill.Â It was reliably gathered that in order to clear the coast before they began their operation, the hoodlums shot sporadically into the air and mobile policemen on a checkpoint, some 400meters away took to their heels.
It was further gathered that when solders on patrol duty got to the scene,Â the gunmen engaged them in a fierce shoot out and after about 20 minutes, the solders withdrew as they were over powered by the superior fire power of the armed gang.
The gunmen were said to have later kidnapped the septuagenarian wife of a foremost fast food eatery owner, who had gone to the Grail Centre for a programme. She was abducted alongside two others.
Also in the week, three other persons including a lawyer and a sales representative of a leading brewery in the country were kidnapped. But they were, however, released after paying various sums of money as ransom.
Residents who spoke to our correspondent on the development decried the renewed violent crime inÂ the town, particularlyÂ kidnapping.
They said it was unfortunate that despite the heavy presence of military/police personnel, kidnappers have continued to operate in the town with little or no resistance from the security agencies in the town.