.The kidnappers selected their victims from the people on the ground – witness
. Resident blame the government for no security in the place
. PCC sympathises with victims’ family
By Ozioruva Aliu, BENIN CITY
REACTIONS on Monday continued to trail the kidnap of 32 people at the Igueben train station in Edo state as the state government said six have been rescued by the combined team of security operatives and others.
Briefing journalists in Benin City, the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare said the state governor, Godwin Obaseki has also provided logistic support to the security agencies.
According to him: “Our Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, spoke with me this morning to share the latest information on the efforts being made by the military, police and personnel drawn from other security agencies, including the vigilante and hunters who know the bushes like their backyards to ensure the kidnapped passengers are released soon.
“The Governor has provided the needed logistics support of the various security agencies that are combing the bushes, small settlements, forests and everywhere around the place of the incident to smoke out the kidnappers.” “Governor Obaseki has mandated his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, to coordinate the operation,” Nehikhare added.
Edo train station attack: Police vow to arrest fleeing kidnappers, rescue victims
Speaking on the rescues so far, Nehikhare said “I am pleased to inform Edo people and Nigerians that six people have been rescued in the past 24 hours. A man of about 65 years old, a nursing mother with her baby, one girl of about six years old and siblings a boy and a girl between the ages of two and five. These people have been rescued and operation bush combing is still ongoing.
“We also want to reassure the Edo people that the government is taking this matter very seriously and we are asking for any information that will lead to arrests. I told you before that one person has been arrested. A couple of other suspects have been arrested who were formerly declared wanted with kidnapping cases in that Edo Central area, they too are helping with the police investigation.
“We know it is a very sensitive matter that is why we have to keep the press abreast to avoid sensationalism. I get clearance from the security agencies before I come to talk to the public about what is going on, these are issues that have been cleared for public consumption
“We are appealing to Edo people that if they see anything, they should say something and we want to reassure the victims’ families that the Edo State government is taking this very seriously and we believed we have cordoned a huge part of the forest and as I said, nobody knows or forests more than our hunters, our vigilante men, our security agencies. Operation bush combing is ongoing and we are confident that very soon, all the hostages will say something we want to reassure the victims’ families that the Edo State government is taking this very seriously and we believed we have cordoned off a huge part of the forest and as I said, nobody knows or forests more than our hunters, our vigilante men, our security agencies. The operation bush combing is ongoing and we are confident that very soon, all the hostages will be released”
How the kidnappers selected their victims
A middle-aged woman who sells around the train station witnessed the operation of the kidnappers but insisted that she does not want to mention her name.
She said “It was around 3:30 to 4:00 pm, I was standing where I was selling and then suddenly we heard gunshots, when we turned, we saw about four of them coming towards where I was standing, then when I wanted to run to the other side, I saw a group of them and they were shooting, they said we should lie down there and then went into the arrival hall to bring out the passengers that were there and told them to lie down with us.
“They now selected some of the people, I don’t know the number they selected and they went with them, they directed us to one bush and instructed us to lie down there while the others matched the others to another side of the forest. Three of them led us to one bush and asked us to lie down there before they now ran to meet the other people. We lay in that place for about ten minutes before an old man came out. They released him; he was the one who now came to tell us that they have gone. He said they asked him to come back and then continued with the rest into the forest, that was when we now stood up. They did not come in any vehicle and it was not the direction they came from that they went back through. I sell things near the station since it became operational over one year ago, I am a mother and married.”
A resident in the place who gave his name as Ofure Ordia said the incident would have been avoidable if the federal government had been proactive.
He said “The presence of security agencies is more than the people in the community, the entire place has been completely taken over by security agencies since yesterday (Sunday). The only thing I am not comfortable with is the Nigerian factor, why is it always that something bad must happen before our leaders will take action? That station over the years since it was created, there is no single security.
Even ordinary night guards and day guards, don’t have. Those who have been using that station have been using it at the mercy of God and these people that did this, I believe they have put that place on surveillance, they have been watching the activities in that place for a very long time.
PCC queries state security architecture
The Edo State Media and Publicity Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council has sympathized with the families of the victims but raised queries about the celebrated security architecture of the state government and alleged that it was a sham.
Addressing journalists in Benin City, Chairman of the Directorate, John Mayaki joined by some other members of the committee like Nath Osamede, Ohio Odhiri, and Dennis Eribo among others said “We want to sincerely console the family of those that were kidnapped in Igueben. We are calling on the government to do whatever it can to rescue the victims.
We expected that across the state, the state governor as the Chief Security Officer of the state cannot wait for Buhari to come and protect the people in these facilities in his state. The governor speaks of security architecture here and there but do they have the required equipment to work I have never seen where refurbished sienna vehicles are used for security.”
The post Edo Train Kidnap: Six arrested, says State govt appeared first on Vanguard News.
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