By Simon Ebegbulem,Â Benin City
The spate of kidnaping in Edo state has remained unabated in the past few months. About thirty persons have been kidnaped and freed in the last two months and several millions of naira was paid to their captors. Majority of the victimsÂ are bankers but because of the safety of these victims ,the matter is treated quietly.
Only the rich ones are made known to the press while others are kept very confidential to their families and the police. But some of the kidnaped victims included a former General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Nigeria Army, General Peter Ademokhai, Chief John Osamede Adun (alias Bob Izua), a leading transporter in Edo state and business mogul, Mrs Erameh, a staff of the Dentistry department of the University of Benin, wife of the Edo state Commissioner for Works, Mr Erawuyi Obayagbona, the younger brother of the chairman of Arik Air, God is Good Motors.
Unfortunately for God is Good, he was killed by his captives because of the fear that they may be apprehended if he regains his freedom. It was alleged that his relations were involved in his ordeal.
Worried by the spate of kidnaping in the state, the state government had purchased over thirty vehicles and state of the art security gadgets to be used by the proposed Joint Task Force (JTF) that would be set up by the state government.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Pius Odubu had disclosed last week to newsmen that Governor Adams Oshiomohle had been in contact with the Presidency and that they were waiting for the President to give instruction to all the Commands that would be involved in the security out fit. According to Odubu, â€œ We are having this problem because of the crisis in the Niger Delta.
So some of these boys are now running down to Edo state. But if we have a strong force on ground now, they will be forced back to their basis. The Governor is very concerned about the situation and he is making frantic effort to check it because investors will be scared to come under this situationâ€.
Spokesman of the state police Command, ASP Peter Ogboi, narrated that â€œ We have already made quite a number of arrestsÂ of kidnappers and those threatening people. I know that over fifteen kidnappers have been arrested since the beginning of this year. Some of them have also been declared wanted. There are also attempted kidnaping cases that we equally foiled and arrested some of them.
You will remember that one Sunny Akonobi was declared wanted and one Asolesi was also declared wanted. In that episode alone, about four of them were arrested. Now, you remember too that those who kidnaped God is Good were arrested. Just recently, a husband and wife were kidnaped and some of the kidnappers were arrested too.
What happened that they went to the house kidnaped the wife, the family did not report to the police immediately. So the husband went and paid N1million, but the day he took the money to them, they said it was not enough. So he was kidnaped and was taken to the creeks in Delta state. But through covert intelligence, our men were able to arrest about three of them.
Then there is one community in Orhionmwon Local Government, they assisted the police in arresting two kidnappers who are Ijaw militants who attempted to kidnap an MD of a company and that led to the arrest of two of the militants and they have been charged to court. And another group who attempted to kidnap a popular transporter in Benin were arrested and one of them confessed to be a student of Dentistry in one of the universities in the state.