…intensify manhunt for kidnappers
The police in Rivers State said their operatives have rescued four of the five abducted passengers along the Emuoha Kalabari Road in the state.
The spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this to our correspondent on Tuesday afternoon.
Iringe-Koko said the feat followed the massive deployment of tactical units to the area, as directed by the Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka.
Recall that five persons in a bus travelling to Buguma in the Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state were kidnapped by gunmen who ambushed the vehicle they were in last Saturday and whisked away five of them, but later released the driver.
It was learnt that the deployment was led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Mohammed Salihu.
The state police spokesperson (Iringe-Koko) said,” Yes, from the information available to me, four of the passengers have been rescued by our men between Monday and this morning.
“Remember the state Commissioner of Police has ordered a massive deployment of our personnel, including the tactical units to ensure their early release of the kidnapped passengers.
“So, they have been combing the bushes and creeks and giving the criminals a hot chase. As we speak, four people have been rescued.
“Our men are still there working day and night to ensure that the remaining victims are rescued and to also apprehend the suspects and make them face justice.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Mohammed Salihu while speaking to newsmen said operatives are on the trail of the abductors.
Salihu said the operation was supported by the executive chairmen of Emuoha, Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru and Degema respectively, along that road.
He said, “We are here together with the local government chairmen to assist this area and see where we are having problems of criminality.
“People used to come here and kidnap people to escape through the River. We have examined the escape routes and we are doing the needful.
“We have rescued some persons, and we are still looking for the others.”
The DCP further said the joint exercise would be sustained to ensure the protection of lives and property along the Emuoha/Kalabari road.
He said the police would continue to collaborate with communities in the area to end the frequent cases of abduction and hijacking of vehicles by hoodlums on that road.
“The local government chairmen have promised to clear the bushes, you can see the area is too bushy. Immediately they clear the place and make visibility possible, we are going to deploy more men. In Nigeria today, we are trying to embrace community policing.
“So the joint operation here will also comprise sister security agencies, including vigilantes.
“The locals will actively participate because we know they know the routes very well. So with their involvement, we are sure there won’t be any problem,” he added.