Tuesday, July 23, 2019 3:21 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
The driver and about six out of the 16 passengers abducted while traveling in a commercial bus by kidnappers at the Elele axis of Oweri-Elele-Port Harcourt route on Saturday July, 20 have escaped.
The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, told our correspondent that: “The Driver and about seven others managed to escape and reported to the Police. There are other ones that escaped could not go to the Police station to report. The number that may still be under captivity may be about eight. Those who escaped include the driver who came to the Police to report. We are working hard to secure the release the rest”
DSP Nnamdi Omoni, who reacted to the allegation that some of the drivers may be working hand-in-gloves with the kidnappers, advised those who have evidence to report to the Police as no report of such is with the Police.
“There has not been any complaint against any of the bus drivers. Otherwise, we would have investigated and come out with a position. Some of them during attacks sustained life-threatening injuries, others are killed in the process. No passenger who escaped or was eventually released has complained to the Police that due to circumstances surrounding their abduction, that he reasonably suspects that the driver was an accomplice to the kidnappers,” the PPRO stated.
Omoni, however expressed optimism that within a short time, there will be increased presence of police patrol along the Owerri-Elele-Ubima-Omerelu road as the Rivers State Government has recently donated more patrol vehicles to the state Command.
But motorists who spoke to this magazine expressed worry over incessant attacks by kidnappers on that route.
“Government should do something about that route because once it is 6pm nobody wants to play that road. Although there is increased number of checkpoints on the road, the kidnappers don’t care. They still carry out their attacks. There should be increased police patrol and the policemen who had stayed in the area for sometime should be redeployed,” a motorist who spoke to this magazine said.
There have been regular incidents of kidnapping in the Owerri-Elele-Ubima-Omerelu road of those coming to or leaving Port Harcourt to the Eastern part of the country.
It is also the same scenario for those who passed through Port Harcourt- Rumuji-Emohua-Mbiama-Warri road for those heading to Bayelsa and Delta States.