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Nigeria: Militants Kidnap Elf Contractor in Port-Harcourt

Posted by Jimitota Onoyume on 2009/01/09 | Views: 456 |

Nigeria: Militants Kidnap Elf Contractor in Port-Harcourt


MILITANTS yesterday abducted a contractor with Elf Company, Mr. Thank God Elenwo Ikwegbu at his residence in Iwhechiorlu community, Rukpokwu town in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. And at press time were demanding two hundred million naira ransom.

MILITANTS yesterday abducted a contractor with Elf Company, Mr. Thank God Elenwo Ikwegbu at his residence in Iwhechiorlu community, Rukpokwu town in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. And at press time were demanding two hundred million naira ransom.

This came barely a day a foremost Africa novelist, Elechi Amadi regained his freedom from kidnappers in the state capital.

Confirming the development, spokesman of the Joint Task Force and army in the state, Lieutenant Col Sagir Musa called for information from the public that would help track down the kidnappers. Adding that security operatives in the state have all been put on red alert.

"Information available to the Joint Task Force operation flush out 3 revealed that one Mr. Thank God Elenwo Ikwegbu, a former senior staff of Elf and now a contractor in the same company was kidnapped in his house at about 0130 hours by unknown bandits dressed in army uniform. As usual, the motive for the abduction is for monetary gains. Security agencies have been alerted and directed to maintain maximum alert."

Meanwhile, a press statement issued by Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL) and signed by its chairman, Mr. Nsirimovu Anyankwe lamented the abduction. According to the body, the kidnappers were about six and fully armed. They operated for about an hour without resistance from any quarter.

Condemning the rising case of abduction in the state the body urged the state government to redefine its approach to achieving lasting peace in the state. The statement spoke against the use of force saying it had not brought about the desired peace. It called for peaceful approach and strategy to be evolved in tackling the security problem facing the state.

"Another kidnap of Mr. Thankgod Elenwo Ikwegbu, 58 years old, Elf Senior Petroleum staff, from his bedroom, at his native Iwhechiorlu community, Rukpokwu town in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, at about 1.30am today.

The kidnappers numbering about six are said to be fully armed with sophisticated weapons and dressed in full Army gear, including bullet proof jackets. They operated close to one full hour in the home of Mr. Ikwegbu. All attempts to get members of the Joint Task Force Team and Police Units to come to his aide proved embarrassingly abortive.

The IHRHL calls on the kidnappers, who are asking for a whopping Two Hundred Million Naira ransom payment, to urgently and without any further precondition release Mr. Ikwegbu to resume his normal life and work. He is a man who has toiled all his life, and is still working very hard at his age to make ends meet.

The IHRHL calls on the kidnappers to turn away from the path of violence and return to the ways of peace. You may claim to seek justice.

We too believe in justice and seek justice. But violence only delays the day of justice. Violence as we have witnessed in Rivers State in the past nine years of bad leadership, destroys the work of justice.

Do not follow any leaders who train you in the ways of inflicting death, torture and pain. Those who resort to violence always claim that only violence brings change. You must know that there is a political peaceful way to justice.

The IHRHL urgently calls on the government of Rivers State to try peace for a change, by channeling its policy goals through a political way of justice.

The IHRHL calls on the Government of Rivers State to develop the right frame of mind, policy and political will necessary in the new year, to appreciate the real fact that resolving the festering conflict in the state must concern itself not only with issues that divide the parties, but also with the social, psychological and political changes that are necessary to address root causes that continue to inhibit progress thus far.

A multitrack approach is recommended, rather than the very simplistic policy of criminalization of opponents which continue to maim, destroy human lives, stunt development and growth, while resources meant for development is ill-spent unaccountable through security budgets that has hardly yielded any human security dividend over time.

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