Suspected Herdsmen Kidnap Five Persons in Anambra Community

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*Abducted commissioner regains freedom

David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

Five persons were on Saturday night kidnapped by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen near Aguleri community in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State.

This is coming as the state Commissioner for Public Utilities, Mr. Emeka Ezenwanne who was kidnapped during last Wednesday’s attack on the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwumah Soludo, has regained his freedom.

The five kidnap victims hail from Aguleri, where the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano also comes from, and were returning from Awka, the state capital, where they attended a wedding ceremony when they were abducted.

A victim of the attack simply identified as Chidi, who escaped the abduction, narrated his experience in an audio clip, which he circulated in social media.

“I escaped. My Aguleri brothers were captured by them. I don’t know if they were killed or not. Four men and one lady from Aguleri were taken away. There were shootings in the area but I escaped.”

Spokesperson of the Anambra State Police Command, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Tochukwu Ikenga confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with THISDAY.

He said that of the five kidnapped persons, two were rescued by police operatives led by the Divisional Police Officer of Otuocha division, while the identity of the kidnappers was yet to be ascertained.

“It was a kidnap incident and it happened at night. Five persons were kidnapped but the operatives led by the DPO Otuocha quickly moved into action and rescued two persons. They are still in manhunt to rescue the other three. We are yet to identify those people that kidnapped them.

“The abducted persons are five in number – four men and a lady. The lady and one of the men were however rescued, while three male victims are still in captivity,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Public Utilities, Mr. Emeka Ezenwanne, who was kidnapped on Wednesday night has been released.

Ezenwanne was kidnapped by gunmen who invaded the venue of an interactive session between an All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship aspirant, Prof. Chukwumah Soludo and youths of his community, Isuofia.

The gunmen killed three police men, and abducted the commissioner who was said to have scaled the fence in attempt to escape, but ran into the gunmen.

Police authorities in Anambra State confirmed his release in a press statement signed by its spokesperson, Ikenga.

Ikenga said: “The Anambra State Police Command today April 4, 2021, wishes to confirm to the members of the public, especially Ndi Anambra the safety of Mr. Emeka Ezenwanne, the state Commissioner for Public Utilities.

“The police, military and other Security Agencies had mounted intense search and rescue efforts, which had closed in on his abductors, thereby forcing his release.

“The Hon. Commissioner returned home unhurt, in the early hours of today, April 4, 2021.”

Ikenga quoted the CP as calling for calm and reiterated the Command’s commitment towards ensuring safety and security.