Okon Bassey in Uyo
Kidnappers of a senior nursing officer in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Mrs. Effiong Ekereke, have reduced the ransom demanded for her release from N10 million to N1 million
The nurse who is the wife of a senior official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the local government area, Mr. Effiong Ekereke, was kidnapped by armed men on the New Year day.
Sources said Mrs. Ekereke was abducted in her home at Ikot Akpankuk with the ransom now put at N1 million instead of N10 million earlier demanded due to lack of cash.
According to family sources, the hoodlums decided to kidnap Mrs. Ekereke since her husband could not be reached.
“It has become the usual practice here for leaders of criminal gangs to send letters to prospective targets, mostly civil servants, businessmen and politicians, demanding certain amount of money or be attacked or kidnapped for ransom,” a local vigilante, Etim Umoh, said.
A Principal of Community Secondary School, Nkek, a suburb of Ukanafun Local Government Area, was gruesomely murdered last year “for refusing to pay N1million to a group of gangsters.”
Reacting to spate of kidnappings in the area, the new State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, said he would do his best to sustain peace in Ukanfun and the Etim Ekpo axis.
Ogunjemilusi who reported to his duty post last Wednesday promised to reform the operational strategies of some departments in the police including anti-cultism, anti-kidnapping, anti-robbery, State Intelligence Bureau and Quick Response Squads in order to be in good stead to combat crimes.
He vowed “to make the state the safest in Nigeria,” assuring the people that the morale of the personnel would be raised through attractive welfare packages.
“Let me therefore warn that tough time awaits criminal elements in the state. The command will make it very difficult for you to succeed,” the CP warned.