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Army expresses worry over kidnap cases in Rivers

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By Jimitota Onoyume

PORT HARCOURT—The Nigerian Army has described the spate of kidnapping in Rivers State as alarming.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai
Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai

Brigade Commander 2 Brigade and Commander, Sector II of the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, Brigadier General Stephenson Olabanji, who spoke yesterday at a luncheon for media men at 2 Brigade Headquarters, Port Harcourt, said that National Youth Service Corps members have become the most vulnerable group in the state.

He said that the state governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, was driving the process to redress the issue, adding that all hands should be on deck in the renewed effort to rid the state of the challenge.

“Kidnapping is the biggest challenge we are facing in Port Harcourt. We have observed that those behind it are mostly cultists. We are doing our best to tackle this problem. The governor is also spearheading the anti-kidnap crusade. Efforts are on to tackle the problem,” he said.

The Brigade Commander, Brigadier-General Olabanji, solicited the support of the media and communities in the state.
“Communities should do more to help security operatives achieve results. I understand that kidnappers have coerced the people not to talk.

Victims of kidnap do not talk after their release. When you want to debrief a released hostage, you see that he or she does not come up with much information,” he said.

He said his men had burst several kidnap groups in the state even as he appealed for useful information from the public.

He assured that security operatives will conceal identifies of those who disclose information to aid the anti-kidnap crusade in the state.

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