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Ohakim blames failed banks for spate of kidnapping in S-East

By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo

LAGOS— Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State yesterday gave an insight into how kidnapping started in the South Eastern part of Nigeria, blaming the trend on the consequences of failed financial institutions in the country, particularly banks from Lagos.

Ohakim made the remarks  yesterday during a courtesy visit to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State.  He said  some commercial banks, with head offices in Lagos, stormed the east to woo business men, mostly youths, to buy shares, promising them huge return on investment.

Laments exaggeration of kidnap incidents

Lamenting that reports of kidnapping in the East were over-exaggerated, Ohakim said individuals affected by the whirlwind that swept the banks out of business some years back left most of them, mostly youths, frustrated and with no other option than seeking for other means of survival.

His words: “You may have noticed the spate of kidnapping in the East which has been blown out of proportion. One of the things I needed to tell you is that people came from Lagos to tell us through a medium called road show and they told our people to buy shares and quoted all the profits our people would make from it.

“Our people sold their wares and warehouses and were assured by the volcanic marketing of these banks and they put all their money. Unfortunately, these banks collapsed and most of them, who were young boys, were also affected”.

Revealing that he was in Lagos for a three-day working visit to meet with his kinsmen from the East who have chosen the state as their abode, Ohakim also sought the help of Fashola to get the banks to participate in putting a stop to kidnapping currently gaining much ground in the South East.

“We are trying to see how we can meet these banks and see how we can get them to contribute in mitigating the problem of kidnapping and I know you would support me. These banks that caused the problems are here and that is why I want you to help me.  It is  better to tell the truth because heaven helps those who help themselves”, he added.

 ….Settles rift with Udenwa, others

By Chidi Nkwopara

OWERRI—The political war in Imo State looks set for a final settlement as the dramatis personae, Dr. Ikedi Ohakim, Governor of Imo State, and his predecessor, Chief Achike Udenwa, both had lunch together at Imo State Governor’s Lodge at Asokoro, Abuja, yesterday.

This followed a stakeholders’ meeting of all the warring factions convened by the National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Although tempers were high at the peace meeting, the PDP National chairman later cooled all the charged nerves and took total control of the proceedings. He asked the Udenwa camp, known as Redemption Group, which fused with Senator Araraume’s group to form the Alliance Group, to say what their problem with the governor was.


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