Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Suspected Fulani herdsmen have reportedly abducted Mr. John Ogeleke, a non-academic staff of the Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka.
He was said to have been abducted by a group of Fulani men on Tuesday at Kwale, the administrative headquarters of Ndokwa West Local Government Area of the state.
Bands of Fulani are found in numerous communities across Delta State, most of them nomadic cattle rearers and cattle marketers, but some of them have been involved in different acts of criminality including kidnapping, robbery, rape and murder.
The state Police Command spokeswoman, Mrs. Celestina Kalu (DSP), confirmed the incident, saying Ogeleke was abducted at gunpoint while travelling in his Nissan Pathfinder jeep towards Ogume town from Kwale.
Information available to the police said that four Fulani men allegedly ambushed the DELSU staff armed with guns, knives and sticks, she disclosed.
The gang of kidnappers was said to have emerged from the bush along Ogume road, forcing the vehicle to stop before seizing 54-year old Ogeleke and whisking him away into the bush.
The search for the abducted man was already in progress, the police assured.
According to Kalu, a combined team of security operatives including police from Kwale division and men of Dragon 25 police special patrol squads were being assisted by local vigilance members and reinforcement from police divisions around Kwale.
Moreover, other measures being taken in the effort to secure the release of the victim include establishment of contact with the Fulani leader in Kwale, Alhaji Mudi, soliciting his assistance “in the search as several Fulani camps are located therein.”
It would be recalled that the late monarch of Delta State community of Ubulu-Uku was kidnapped in similar fashion on the Ubulu-Uku to Igbodo Road early on January 5, 2016 by a gang of Fulani young men numbering about seven.
The remains of the traditional ruler, Edward Akaeze Ofulue III, the Obi of Aibueku-Uku, was eventually discovered in a bush near Umunede more than two weeks later.
Only last Tuesday, a coalition of local security outfits across the three senatorial zones of the state staged a public protest in Asaba, the state capital, calling on the state and federal government authorities to find a permanent solution to the menace of Fulani herdsmen engaging in criminal activities in the state communities.