By Emma Arubi, WARRI
Kidnappers are on rampage in Delta State in spite of the law passed by the state House of Assembly making the unwholwsome act punishable by death without an option of fine. Rather than serve as a deterrence, the Act sponsored by Dan Mayuku seem to have encouraged the abductors. Even the recently passed law by the National Assembly seem not to make any meaning to them as they continue to dare security agents to bring them to book.
For now, their criminal exploits in this regard does not recognise personality boundaries as both the rich, poor, aged, young and children are subjected to inhuman treatment by the kidnappers who are only interested in making quick money.
According to a former Education Commissioner in Delta State and an Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, House of Representatives aspirant, Dr (Mrs) Veronica Ugbuagu, there are no fewer than 50 cases of kidnappings in the state of recent.
In a most recent incident, a mother of over 60 years of age had to risk her life by jumping out of her moving car in Warri to avoid being taken away in what the police described in their report as “attempted kidnap/stealing” by her own driver in conjunction with one of her housemaids and others now at large. She narrated her ordeal thus Vanguard Metro:
My name is Mrs. Fadiyowe. This is the story of how my driver, Tobore tried to kidnap me. This incident happened on the 7th of February 2011 at about 10:15am. He was driving me to my work place that day and all of a sudden he stopped the car and I asked him what the problem was. He said it looks like the car had developed a fault. I then told him that nothing was wrong with the car because I had used it much earlier that day.
In the course of this short discussion, all of a sudden I noticed that a man was trying to open the door of my car from the back passenger side and immediately sat next to me and asked me to cooperate. At that moment I heard a hissing sound and I thought they were deflating the tires of the car, but to my surprise it was the driver that was spraying a substance inside the car, perhaps to put me to sleep immediately.
At that moment I knew that he was part of the kidnap attempt. I tried to come out of the car but they dragged me back inside and there was not much I could do then and they sped off. At that point I thought that my best bet was to jump out of the car, so I jumped out of the speeding car. This happened at Bendel Estate in Warri around the Customs Barracks area close to the airport road.
Driver and housemaid collaborated
When I jumped out of the car they sped off and an immigration officer whose name I cannot quite remember now, came to help and took me to the police station. At the police station, they took my statement and I told them that I got the driver through my house help, one Mary. They now followed me to my house. I have two house girls and when the police got to my house we met only one of them who told us that the driver called her and told her that we had an accident and that she was going to the scene. Since then she has left the house and have not been seen again.
Thereafter, the police issued me a report with which I went to St. Mary clinic for a check up and treatment.
Asked what she thought the driver was spraying inside the car at the time, she said:
I do not know but I was coughing and choking. It was something that was meant to put me to sleep but because I was already agitated by the scenario it did not work.
As it is now, your car is gone and the girl that was supposed to track him is also missing. What effort are the police putting in to track them down?” VM asked her.
The Ugberikoko police have done their bit and I have transferred the case to the Ekpan Police Station for effective investigation and action as I am not satisfied with the way and manner the Ugberikoko police were handling it.
The police should be more vigilant because they are trained to track down suspects when they see one.
They nevertheless have tried because they have been able to track down the address of my house girl, Mary and also able to know that Mary lived with the driver which means that she is his girlfriend.
As I speak with you, Tobore and his gang have made away with the car, my GSM handsets, checkbook, raw cash and signed blank cheque running into some good amount. I am traumatized by the experience.
Indeed, she is not only traumatized, the effect of having to jump out of the moving car was quite evident as she writhes in pain.
The upsurge in kidnappings and the seeming helplessness of security agents to track down the perpetrators recently led irate residents of Warri to take the laws into their own hands. This was prompted by the gallantry of a mother coupled with the vigilance of youths who successfully foiled the attempt to abduct the mother and her child. They killed two members of the gang, setting one ablaze while the police succeeded in taking the corpse of the other to the station with the only surviving member escaping death by the whiskers.