17th September, 2010
Five members of the National Youth Service Corps, four female and one male, were last night,Â at about 11.30 pm, abducted by unknown gunmen at Corpersâ€™ Lodge at Unuogha CommunityÂ Secondary school in Omuma Local Government area of Rivers State.
According eyewitness account, the gunmen who arrived in a Sports Utility Vehicle, stormedÂ the Corpersâ€™ Lodge, shot sporadically into the air to scare people and abducted the corpsÂ members.
They also made away with valuable belongings of the Corps members.
Immediately after the Corps members were abducted, the kidnappers put the Corps members onÂ phone to announce to their colleagues and relations that they are holding them.
At the time the operation was on, the Police were contacted and immediately mobilised to theÂ scene but only succeeded in pursuing them into the boundary between Abia and Rivers states.
The Rivers State Police image-maker, Mrs. Rita Innoma-Abbey confirmed the kidnap whenÂ contacted and said that the Rivers Police command is working round the clock in conjunctionÂ with the Abia Police Command to ensure the release of the victims unharmed.
In his reaction, Blessing Wikina, the Acting Chief Press Secretary to Governor ChibuikeÂ Rotimi Amaechi, told PMNEWS that â€œit is very sad an unfortunate that at the time corpsÂ members are serving their fatherland they could be kidnapped. The state Government calls onÂ the kidnappers to release them forthwith as they are of no pecuniary value.â€
He also called on the police to ensure their release unharmed.â€
On 10 August,this year, during a Town Hall Meeting with the people of Omuma LocalÂ Government, the governor pledged to pay N1 million on each kidnapper arrested by theÂ villagers to stem the tide of kidnapping in the local government.
As a precautionary measure, P.M.NEWS learnt that the rest Corps members are being evacuatedÂ from their lodge by the government.
â€”Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt