Bassey Inyang in Calabar
A Third Republic Senator, Mr. Patrick Ani, has been kidnapped. Information reaching THISDAY indicated that Ani who represented Cross River South senatorial district on the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) between 1992 and 1994, was kidnapped in his farm in Akpabuyo, near Calabar on Wednesday.
Ani who is the younger brother of the former finance minister, Chief Anthony Ani, was allegedly picked up without any resistance in his farm by gunmen suspected to be militants that have been terrorising the southern part of the state.
Though the police in the state said they have no information about the kidnap of Ani, it was gathered that a team of policemen went to his farm hours after information started filtering into town to the effect that he had been kidnapped.
It is strongly believed that the visit to his farm was in connection with the kidnapping of Ani who authored the “Forth Force,” a discourse on current issues in Nigerian politics and nation building, which regularly appeared as advertorial on several national newspapers.
Attempts to get any member of his family to comment on the kidnapping of the senator did not materialise, but one of the workers in the farm, who pleaded not to be named because he was not instructed to comment on the issue, said Ani was kidnapped on Wednesday in his farm in Akpabuyo, adding that a team of policemen visited the farm hours after the incident and interviewed the workers on the matter.
However, when contacted on the issue, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), in the state, Irene Ugbo, promised to make enquires on the issue and get back to THISDAY. But at press time, the PPRO was yet to respond.
The kidnapping of Ani has added to the atmosphere of fear and insecurity that has enveloped Calabar, the state capital, and the neighbouring Akpabuyo, Akamkpa and Odukpani Local Government Areas.
On the same day that Ani was kidnapped, dare-devil armed robbers stormed a section of Marian Road in Calabar in broad day light and robbed shop owners of their wares and money for about an hour without any from of challenge from any quarters.
On the previous Tuesday night, armed robbers also attacked a supermarket located on the State Housing Estate/Marian Road, carting away whatever they could lay their hands on including cash from staff and some customers who were unlucky to be in the shop when the thieves got to the supermarket.