Panic as kidnappers take over Imo communities | Dailytrust

Panic as kidnappers take over Imo communities

Fear has gripped communities in Nwangele Local Government Area of Imo State over the invasion of their lands by kidnappers.

Our correspondent gathered that in the last one week, no fewer than six persons were abducted from Abba, Isu, Abajah and Dim Na Nume.

Three men operating in two Highlander SUVs, last Friday abducted one Mr. Chimezie Okpara in his village of Umudurunna, Abba.

Okpara was released on Tuesday night in Owerri after paying some unspecified amount of money as ransom.

A few days later, a prominent man was kidnapped in Abajah.

But sources said that he was able to negotiate with his kidnappers by allegedly paying N5 million ransom.

Two men were also said to have been abducted at Isu, while a reverend sister and another woman were abducted at Dim na Nume.

These scenarios have sent shock waves to the neighbouring communities of Amaigbo, Owerre Nkworji and Nkwerre.

South East Trust gathered that a stakeholders meeting called by leaders of Dim na Nume could not hold because of security concerns.

A community leader, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said that the communities were terrified by the new trend.

Our correspondent gathered that the police are working on the theory that most of the unknown gunmen dislodged from the city centres and former inmates of Owerri Custodial Centre, who were released during the April 5 attack on the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service, might be responsible for the new trend of kidnapping in the hinterland.

This had prompted the police command to deploy special forces to the hinterland to check the ugly trend.

In a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, the Commissioner of Police Imo State Command, CP Abutu Yaro, was quoted to have said the immediate deployment of Police Special Forces to the hinterlands was to reinforce the security forces patrolling those areas.

This, according to the statement, came as a result of the recent shift of criminal activities to some parts of the hinterlands following the major defeat suffered by the criminal elements in the last few days while attempting to attack Owerri.

“While briefing the Special Forces at the Command Headquarters Owerri this morning, the Commissioner of Police charged them to deal ruthlessly with the criminal elements disturbing the hinterlands.

The state has witnessed increase in crime since the release of over 1,800 inmates during the attack on the correctional centre in the state.