Panic in Ogoni communities over disappearance of nine children
Two Killed, Many Kidnapped In Enugu
Communities of Ogoni ethnic nationality in Rivers State have decried the disappearance of over nine children in the area. This was even as armed men suspected to be kidnappers on Friday evening killed a prominent leader of Neke Odenigbo-Nike community in Isi-Uzo Local Council of Enugu State, Chief Cyril Mbah and one other person before abducting an unascertained number of people
A source in Ogoni, yesterday, said that within a period of three weeks, the whereabouts of over nine children were unknown. According to the source, five children went missing in Bera community, Gokana Local Council of the state. The source, who did not want his name in print, hinted that two children were earlier declared missing in Nweola community and two in Mogho all in Gokana, just as he urged parents to keep eyes on their children.
The source said: “The rate of missing children in Ogoni is alarming. Today, Saturday, I have been informed that five children have been declared missing in Bera community, two missing in Nweola and two cases reported in Mogho. Please keep an eye on your children.”
President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, (MOSOP), Fegalo Nsuke, who confirmed the development, noted that the trend may not be unconnected to ritual activities, stressing that MOSOP has started a sanitisation process to end the ugly trend. He said: “We are trying to see what we can do by liaising with traditional rulers to bring the situation under control because it is alarming.”
In Bera, five children are missing; in Nweola two children; the last one that happened two weeks ago, Mogho two children. It appears if your go round you will have more updates.
“I have personally confirmed that these children are missing. For one of the incidents in Bera, somebody came and sent an elderly person with the child on an errand, and by the time he came back her brother was missing. This is happening.
“I think the development tends toward ritual activities. It is up to the traditional institutions to rise and do something. Secondly, we need to call a meeting of all the chapters of MOSOP and commence a community-based sensitisation so that people can know that these things are happening so they can be vigilant. Education is crucial and people have to be vigilant.
“The police get to know what you report to them and in most cases before you report to the police that incident has happened.” When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, Grace Iringe Koko, a Superintendent of Police, disclosed that the District Police Officer in the area confirmed only one case of a missing child.
The kidnap suspects in Enugu were said to have laid siege on Ugwogo-Neke-Ikem road between Enugu East and Isi-Uzo local councils of the state.
The Guardian gathered that the abducted travellers were taken into the bush. An eyewitness narrated that on Friday evening, between 7:30 and 8.00pm, the suspected kidnappers swooped on passengers in a bus plying the road.
“The hoodlums shot sporadically at upcoming vehicles and killed two persons in a vehicle before moving further to another vehicle where they commandeered the passengers into the bus and whisked them away.
“Chief Cyril Mbah from Neke Odenigbo-Nike was gunned down by the suspected kidnappers along Ugwogo/Isi-uzo road, near Neke Odenigbo junction.
“He was rushing home with his daughter in his car when he ran into a group of suspected kidnappers who suddenly opened fire on him. Unfortunately he couldn’t survive the gunshots but nothing happened to his daughter.
“The kidnappers went further, fired and flattened the tyres of another vehicle approaching the scene and successfully whisked away the driver and other people on board,” the source said.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, said he would verify the incident.
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