Enugu State appears to be under the siege of kidnappers following the rampaging activities of gunmen, with other unpleasant reports emerging days after the rape and murder of 67-year-old Mrs Pat Ugwu on Wednesday. Daredevil kidnappers struck around the Obioma-Nsude axis of Old Enugu-Onitsha Road on Thursday night, abducting four persons at a time, with all being members of a family. The victims were said to be travelling in a Toyota Venza car when the kidnappers intercepted the vehicle and took all of them away around 8.30pm.
The abducted persons are Ernest Otugo, a businessman based in Nnewi, his wife, their son and a family friend who was identified simply as Reuben. The kidnappers reportedly released Otugo’s wife later to go and raise money to pay ransom for the release of other hostages. Another couple, whose identity is yet to be identified, was said to have been attacked and kidnapped along the same road on the same day.
These incidents are besides the abduction of the daughter of Chief Frank Anioma, a former council chairman in the state who also acted as Personal Assistant to governor Chimaroke Nnamani during his tenure. Raising the alarm on Thursday through a Facebook post, Anioma solicited information and help from the public over the disappearance of his daughter who was said to have gone to the market before she was abducted.
In the Facebook post, the politician wrote: “Please friends and good Nigerians help me, my daughter Josisochukwu Anioma was kidnapped this morning, August 22, about 7am on her way to New Haven Market. Her phone… was ringing without response. Now it’s ringing busy. Please help repost this. Who knows (how) God will show mercy.”
When contacted yesterday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the kidnap of travellers along Obioma-Nsude axis of old Enugu- Anambra Road, noting that police were on the case. The PPRO, however, explained that the case of the missing daughter of Chief Frank Anioma could not be said to be a kidnap incident as no one had contacted the family or anybody close to her yet to demand ransom.
“Yes, she has not been seen, so you may want to say okay, his daughter went out, but we are following it up. Sooner or later, it will become clearer; but I can assure you that it is not all about kidnapping and all that because one, calls for ransom have not been made and all that but we are working on it,” Amaraizu said.