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Kidnap: Orji vows to deal with sponsors

By Anayo Okoli

Umuahia— Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has vowed to deal with prominent politicians from the state alleged to be sponsoring kidnappers to terrorise citizens and visitors to the state.

This came against the backdrop of the release of three Chinese expatriate workers kidnapped by hoodlums in Abia State, a week after they were abducted.

The governor said investigations conducted by the government had shown that prominent politicians from the state, residing outside it, were deeply involved in sponsoring hoodlums to terrorise residents and visitors to the state.

According to him, the government is already verifying the evidences contained in the investigations.

He assured that once the facts were substantiated, it would be made open and the personalities involved would be laid bare.

Governor Orji vowed that no person fingered in the report would be spared as kidnapping had dented the good image of Abia.

Amnesty expires

He explained that the amnesty programme initiated by his administration for repentant kidnappers was not a sign of weakness, even as he reminded those still engaged in the crime that the deadline for them to repent and surrender their arms was yesterday.

“But where they prove stubborn and feel that they have arms and can continue to harrass people and disturb the peace of Abia State, the government will also show that it is here to make sure that lives are secured,”  Orji warned.

The kidnapped expatriate workers, who are staff of NIFEST Steel Rolling Mill, Aba, were brought to Government House, Umuahia, yesterday, at the instance of Governor Orji, who expressed his sympathy with kidnap victims and assured them that they would not encounter such experience in the state anymore.

In his remarks, the General Manager of NIFEST Steel Rolling Mill, Mr. Charles Ogbonna, said the release of the Chinese was due to the initiative of the state government in proclaiming amnesty to the kidnappers and other criminals in the state.

“Actually, if not for this initiative, I do not know what could have happened to these men,” Ogbonna said, noting that they were confused after the kidnappers informed them that they were holding the expatriate workers.

“The situation was worsened because the three Chinese do not speak and do not understand English language, which made communication with their captors very difficult. Their captors took to the bush and seized their laptops, money while they were fed with few fingers of bananas,” he added.

The situation, it was learnt, made the staff of the steel mill to be enveloped in confusion until last Wednesday when the state government got involved in discussing with the kidnappers through the special adviser to the governor on security, Col. Ezichi Kalu (rtd).


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