By Davies Iheamnachor, Amarachi Uzoma & Isioma Ananaba
PORT HARCOURT— GUNMEN, believed to be kidnappers, intercepted a commercial bus at Isiokpo area of Rivers State, yesterday, and whisked away over 20 occupants of the vehicle.
The bus, branded Rivers Mass Transit Company, was said to be travelling from Port Harcourt to Owerri, Imo State, before it was stopped by the bandits at Isiokpo, Ikwerre Local Government Area.
The 18-seater bus had loaded at Agip and Whimpy on Ikwerre Road, Mr. Martins Aluziwe, a driver, who was in front of the attacked bus, said.
It was learned that 18 passengers, driver and conductor of the bus were all taken away by the hoodlums to an unknown place.
Mr. Aluziwe said he and the driver of the attacked bus had loaded at Agip and Whimpy junctions and met again at Omuagwa before the incident.
Aluziwe narrated: “What happened was that we were going to Owerri this morning (yesterday).
“On getting to Omuagwa, I met my co-driver who was also travelling to Owerri. When we got to Isiokpo, on top of the bridge by Isiokpo Junction, armed men attacked us.
“Because I was in front they only shot at my car, but could not stop me. The bullet did not hit anybody inside the vehicle. But the bus coming behind me was attacked and everybody, including the driver and passengers, over 20 of them, were taken into the bush.
“Another of my colleague, who came behind informed me that soldiers have entered the bush but that there is no information about the kidnapped victims yet. We are calling for more security personnel to help rescue the people.”
He stated that soldiers at a checkpoint near the scene of the kidnap had moved into the bush in search of the victims and the kidnappers.
Meanwhile, contacted, the Public Relations Officer of Rivers State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, said the command is yet to be briefed on the development.