By Jethro Ibileke
The Edo State Government has confirmed that a total of 31 passengers were kidnapped by suspected bandits at the Igueben-Ekehen train station late Saturday afternoon.
This is even as the State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, has visited the scene of the incident for an on-the-spot assessment of rescue efforts.
The incident occurred at about 4 pm on Saturday, 7 January, 2023, when the victims and other passengers were waiting to board a train to Ujevwu train station, in Udu, Delta State.
Many other passengers reportedly sustained wounds from bullets fired by gunmen suspected to Fulani herdsmen during the attack.
The State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Osa Nehikhare, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
He disclosed that 32 passengers were initially abducted, but one escaped.
Nehikhare who gave an update on efforts of the Edo State Government to rescue the kidnapped passengers in Benin, said that a combined team of the military, the police, men of the vigilante network and hunters are currently on the heels of the kidnappers.
According to him: “At the moment, security personnel made up of the military and the police as well as men of the vigilante network and hunters are intensifying search and rescue operations in reasonable radius to rescue the kidnap victims. As at 3pm Sunday, one suspect has been captured and is helping police with their investigation.
“One victim out of the 32 people kidnapped escaped from the hands of the abductors. We are confident that the other victims will be rescued in the coming hours.”
Meanwhile, the State Government has condoled with the families of the victims for this unfortunate occurrence.
Nehikhare in the statement appealed for calm and urged citizens to assist security personnel with information of suspicious movements in and around their neighborhoods, particularly in the area where the rescue operation is taking place.