By Emma Amaize
WARRI — No fewer than seven workers were kidnapped, yesterday, at Okerenkoko community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State by a suspected militant group.

Meantime, the Warri-Ijaw Peace Monitoring Group, WIPMG has called on security agencies to probe an alleged threat to the lives the paramount ruler of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Ogeh-Gbaroun III, Aketekpe, HRM Godwin Bebenimibo and one of his chiefs, Dennis Otuaro.

Vanguard leant, yesterday, that the workers who were working at the site of the on-going rebuilding project in Okerenkoko by the state government were taken hostage by armed men.

The reason for the kidnap was unclear, but a source said it was connected with the present leadership feud and personality clash in Gbaramatu Kingdom.

In the past few weeks, there had been tension in the entire Gbaramatu Kingdom as some youth leaders engaged themselves in power tussles.

Victims were rebuilding Okerenkoko

However, the kidnap of workers who are involved in the rebuilding of Okerenkoko, which was destroyed by the Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger-Delta, last year, during the search for militants is seen as another dangerous dimension to the feud.

Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, had been cautious in the past few months in handling matters concerning Gbaramatu Kingdom in order to let the warring leaders sort out their differences, but the development, yesterday, might force him to take some drastic steps.

JTF may move in

It was learnt that the government might be compelled to ask the JTF to draft its men to the community if the issues were not addressed, as it would not fold its arms and watch some people take the laws into their hands.

There were fears, as a group was already mobilising to search for the workers and that could mean a clash with the abductors.

“What is very clear, however, is that the kidnap affair is a job carried out by an indigene of Gbaramatu Kingdom over unsettled matters and right now, there is fire on the mountain,” a native of Oporoza told Vanguard.

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