Sylvester Idowu in Warri
A gang of armed herdsmen has been arrested by the police in connection with the kidnap of Ovie of Agbarha-Warri Kingdom, Orhifi Orovwagbarha Agbarha-Ide Ememoh II, on Wednesday.
The monarch was also rescued barely 24 hours after his abduction along the Ughelli-Asaba expressway while on his way to attend a security summit.
The suspects were said to be on a robbery operation along the expressway, near Ossissa community in Ndokwa-East council area of Delta State when the monarch ran into them.
Security sources disclosed that the monarch was rescued by a combined team of men from the state command of the Nigerian Police and community vigilante in the early hours of yesterday .
The state Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim, who claimed he personally led the rescue team, said Orhifi had been taken to Asaba after his rescue.
He said the monarch was rescued after he led a team of hundred police operatives and 30 local vigilante groups to comb the Ossissa forest along the area where he was abducted by suspected Fulani herdsmen who had earlier robbed vehicles plying the busy road.
He, however, said no arrest was made during the rescue operation, adding that police operatives had been deployed to the area to smoke the suspects out.
He said: “The Ovie has been rescued by police crack team personally led by me. The monarch’s abductors were fleeing with him to a different location after our men combed the entire bush in search for him.
“The monarch was abducted by herdsmen. They are very conversant with the bush even more than the indigenes. Our men sighted the movement of the hoodlums through a touch light and we shot into the air which they responded. They engaged us (police) in exchange of gun fire and left behind the monarch.
“There was laxity on the part of the driver who sighted the kidnappers robbing other vehicles but refused to reverse the car for safety. We have learnt our lessons from the kidnap of the monarch. The lesson is that we all need to be alert and vigilant,” he said.