Rivers: Expatriate freed after 2 weeks in kidnappers' den

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Okafor Ofiebor /Port Harcourt

An expatriate who was kidnapped along Emohua Trans-Kalabari road in Rivers State about two weeks ago has been freed by his abductors.

The expatriate was whisked away by yet to be identified gunmen while he was supervising a multi billion naira road project that links the three Kalabari councils areas and Emohua local government of Rivers.

Chairman of Akuku-Toru local government Council area, Rowland Sekibo, disclosed the release of the expatriate whose name has been kept secret since he was taken away from the road construction site on Monday.

Sekibo spoke to journalists after a security meeting among the Chairmen of Asari-Toru Akuku-Toru Degema and Emohua local government areas of Rivers on Monday.

However, he did not disclose details of how the expatriate was freed or whether ransom was paid to his abductors.

Aware of the high incident of kidnapping in the area, Governor Nyesom Wike had before flagging off the construction of the road warned against kidnapping of workers of the construction company handling the project.

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He had specifically directed chairpersons of the Asari Toru, Akuku-Toru and Degema councils to provide security for workers of contractor handling the road project.

Wike spoke when he received members of the Kalabari Traditional Rulers Council, led by the king of Abonnema,  King Disreal Gbobo Bob-Manuel who were on a thank you visit to Rivers Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday April 2.

He expressed his determination to complete the project within 14 months to link and open communities in the Kalabari areas of Rivers to development.

He warned: “I want you to take this project as your own personal project. I want to warn all the three council chairmen, if anything happen to the contractor, I’ll hold you responsible.

“You must provide internal security for them. Nobody from outside will go and kidnap anybody there. Please, make sure the contractor is allowed to do work so that these communities that have not seen such road in their history will be linked up.

“Let’s finish this phase one of the project in 14 months so that when the next governor comes, he will take the next phase. If we go like that the entire Kalabari area will be linked up. God willing, we will achieve it.”