By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN â€” BARELY one month after Federal Government withdrew soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force, JTF, code namedÂ Operation Thunderstorm created by Edo State Government, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese and state Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Peter Imasuen, was abducted, yesterday, by suspected kidnappers.
It was learnt that the Bishop, for whom the abductors laid ambush at his residence, was taken hostage by the kidnappers while driving into his residence in Benin after the dayâ€™s service and whisked away to an unknown destination.
A family member, who confirmed the incident to Vanguard, disclosed that the kidnappers had contacted the family and asked for a ransom of N50 million for his release.
It would be recalled that the spate of kidnapping in the state reduced drastically after the military were drafted into the security outfit which was set up by Governor Adams Oshiomhole to check the activities of kidnappers and armed robbers.
Residents protested soldiers’ withdrawal
However, residents of the state were gripped by fear last week when the Minister of Defense, General Godwin Abbe, an indigene of the state, surprisingly ordered the withdrawal of soldiers serving in the security outfit for alleged political reasons.
Thousands of indigenes of the state throng the streets to protest the decision, prompting the Benin monarch, Oba Erediuwa, to also call on the Federal Government to recall the soldiers after the weekendâ€™s Etsako Central House of Assembly re-run election, which was the reason the soldiers were withdrawn.
Efforts made to Edo Police Commandâ€™s spokesman, ASP Peter Ogboi, on the kidnapped incident failed as his phone was unavailable.