On Tuesday, gunmen suspected to be Herdsmen took five people hostage along the busy Mile 2 axis of the Ishiagu/Okigwe expressway in Ebonyi State.
When unidentified shooters abducted the victims at Mile 2 area, Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, and took them into the nearby bush, they were reportedly traveling home in an airport taxi (Sienna bus) with the registration number KWL 941 PD from Enugu Airport.
One of the kidnapped people was Ajah Chibuzo, who was 41 years old. His wife, their 12-year-old daughter, and the airport driver were also taken.
The source also said that while the thieves were taking the victims into the bush, they ran into a farmer on his farm and took him as well.
He said that the car the victims were in was left at the scene of the accident, but it was later found and taken to the Ishiagu police station.
In the last four months, at least 20 people have been taken along the axis, and about four of them were killed by the kidnappers, who are thought to be herdsmen on the loose.
A few months ago, the women of the community held a protest that went violent because criminals kept stealing innocent people from the area.
When contacted, Hon. Ike Cletus, who is the Special Assistant to the Governor of Ebonyi State for Internal Security in the Ivo Local Government Area of the State, confirmed the event.
He was sad that the Local Government had become a safe place for thieves. He said that this was because the local Vigilante Group in the council wasn’t doing its job.
Cletus said that he was worried that the council’s militia group wasn’t working, except for the military people on the express road. He called for a complete overhaul of the security system in the Local Government Area.
“It’s too bad that Ivo Local Government has become a safe haven for kidnappers and other criminals,” he said. We have a group of vigilantes in the Local Government, but they don’t do anything. You don’t see them much in the Local Government, but every month, money is spent on them without any good results.
“The Local Government’s security structure, especially that of the Local Vigilante Group, needs to be rethought and made more effective.”
He said that the government of Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru is determined to protect the lives and property of its people. He also said that the current government needed the help of the Council Chairmen, who are in charge of the areas where kidnappers are free to work.
At the time this news was made, the Ebonyi State Police Command had not yet said for sure that the suspects had been taken.