Thursday, 23 May 2013
Kidnappers Take-over Delta State, Kill Soldiers, Abduct Setraco Staff
The much talked about and well-publicized “Peace and Security” agenda of the Delta state governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has suffered a major setback as kidnappers continue a reign of terror in the oil rich state.
Barely three days after the brazen abduction of the mother of Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South local government area, kidnappers stormed Ughelli this morning, snatching an expatriate staff of Setraco Construction Company and killing a military official attached to the company.
It was a show of force between the armed kidnappers and the military attache at Setraco, the construction company in charge of the East-West Road and the Ughelli Township dualized road. Both sides engaged in a gun battle beginning at about 8a.m. on the Ekuigbo axis of Ughelli Township Road following the abduction of the staff member.
Eyewitnesses told our reporter that the soldier failed to repel the gunmen, who shot him in the leg before seizing the staff member.
He was rushed to the Ughelli General Hospital but was confirmed dead on arrival.
The incident has brought to a halt all construction work at the company on the East-West and Ughelli Township roads.
Military check points around the Ughelli axis, especially at Ekrerhavwe junction, have been increased and put on high alert as cars coming from Agbarho and from Beta glass areas are compelled to undergo a thorough search.
It would be recalled that on November 27, at Gbarigolor Community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state, two Lebanese and a Nigerian were kidnapped after their abductors engaged the military personnel and the local vigilante group in a shootout which left a staff of Setraco, Mr. Joseph Akpudi, dead.
The company, however, denied that the kidnapped persons are on its staff, claiming they belonged to an affiliate known as “Building Technology” which is presently working under Setraco from where they were whisked away during work time.
As of the time of filing in this report, all attempts to speak with the management of the company proved abortive. When contacted, the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Charles Muka, said he had not been briefed on the matter.