Hoodlums have reportedly abducted 10 persons in Isua, JK2 community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The victims, six women and four children, were reportedly abducted on their farm where they had gone to harvest crops.
A resident of the area simply identified as Ezuwa told newsmen that the hoodlums came from a nearby community called Oshobele, after crossing the River.
He stated that the development had left villagers terrified, describing the kidnap as one out of the many security issues confronting the community.
He said, “This women went to their farms to harvest crops because of the impending floods. And those boys (abductors) haɗ to cross from the neighbouring Oshobele axis to the farm, kidnapped them and their children.
“This is just one out of the many crimes that have been going on in the local government. The people have raised concerns to the local government chairman and the Police Division in Akinima, but nothing has been done so far.”
He disclosed that the latest incident was capable of igniting a communal crisis “because it is now seen as an Ekpeye and Engenni thing.”
Ezuwa also said the hoodlums had hitherto demanded N450,000 from the community which they termed security vote and was paid by the community last Sunday.
He decried the absence of policemen in the community, saying that was why the miscreants operated with audacity.
While noting that many persons had fled the community, Ezuwa said, “The few ones at home they ask them to pay a levy of N450,000 or else they are going to kill everybody in the community.
“Out of fear, they paid the money. They now brought new guidelines for each household to be paying N1,500 every week which will be remitted to the criminals.
“And because of fear, nobody can even go outside. So this is what is going on. We can’t really tell the community they hail from, but they came through Oshobele community, kidnapped these people at Isua and cross back to Oshobele community again which is their hideout.”
He urged the Rivers State Government to ensure the release of the victims.
“The people have written several to the local government, yet nothing has been done. So our call is for the Rivers State Government to come and help us. That is the only Hope we have,” he said.
When contacted, spokesperson of the Rivers State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko confirmed the incident.
Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, said efforts were on to ensure the release of the victims.