We Kidnap Travellers Because Government Stopped Paying Us Amnesty Allowances, Kidnappers Tell Victims
Some kidnappers terrorising Rivers State have confessed to their victims why they are engaging in the criminal acts.
They said that they decided to start kidnapping travellers because the state government stopped paying them amnesty allowances.
In the past couple of weeks, numerous travellers in Rivers State have been kidnapped by gunmen operating unhindered both day and night.
Major expressways have become a den of thieves, especially the Warri-Port Harcourt Express Road and the Emohua axis of the East-West road in Rivers State.
On Thursday, April 25, 2019, some gunmen had stopped a Hiace Space Bus that belongs to G. Agofure Motors and was conveying 10 passengers from Warri to Rivers.
The passengers, including the driver, were led to a bush but the driver was later released and sent to inform the bus company and families of the victims to pay a ransom of N1.1million each to secure the release of those kidnapped.
A wife of one of the victims who spoke with our correspondent narrated how her husband fell victim and spent two days in the kidnappers’ den.
The woman, who wished to be identified as Mrs Happy, said: “My husband left Warri on Thursday and as our usual habit, he was supposed to call me when he got to Rivers but he did not.
“I called him repeatedly but his number didn’t go through. I then decided to call Agofure Park and that was when they informed me that one of their buses was intercepted. We checked the manifest and discovered that my husband was on the bus that was kidnapped.”
She added that the family was able to raise the ransom demanded after her husband had “spent two days with the kidnappers, and was seriously beaten and injured”.
Mr Happy, who was recounting his two-day-ordeal with the kidnappers, said the kidnappers told them why they were kidnapping travellers in the state.
“They came out of the bush and intercepted the bus. They were fully armed and directed every one of us into the bush and kept us there,” he said.
“While they were beating us, they said they kidnapped us because the federal and state government had stopped giving them the amnesty stipends that they received monthly. They said that is why they are kidnapping people and they said they would continue to kidnap people.”
The kidnappers were alleged to have boasted that the Police and Military couldn’t stop them.
He urged the Nigerian government to immediately intervene to prevent kidnapping and loss of lives in the state.
Under the amnesty arrangement, former militants who surrendered their weapons receive a monthly payment of N65,000.