Kidnappers seem to be having a field day in Cross River in recent times as former PDP governorship aspirant and five others have been abducted in the last four weeks amid COVID-19 partial lockdown in the state.
The victims are mostly business men of Igbo extraction who were kidnapped at various locations within the metropolis and later released after paying ransom ranging between N1m and N10m.
While an IT expert and dealer in computer accessories and brother to CEO of Andy Systems was kidnapped at gun point three weeks ago in his residence at Ediba axis in Calabar Municipal Council, a lady pharmacist was whisked away by a gun-trotting young man two weeks ago at her shop at Orok-Orok Junction off Goldie Street.
And last week an importer, simply known as Chidozie, and based in Cameroon, briefly came into town and was quickly rounded up by kidnappers and taken to an unknown destination.
Investigation showed that all the named victims have been released after parting with some reasonable cash.
However, the latest victims of the serial kidnapper include Chief Odinka, an electrical materi6merchants, and a former board member of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar (FNPH), and former governorship aspirant during 2007 primaries, Princess Filia Henshaw.
While Odinka, 70, was abducted on Friday, April 24, 2020, at about 8:00pm from his shop located at Target Street, Princess Henshaw was abducted late on Sunday night from her residence by gunmen near Hawkins Street also in Calabar South.
According to family sources, the abductors of Odinka, who is asthmatic, are yet to make contact with the family for three days in a row. But sources close to Igbo community disclosed that some Igbo leaders had been making efforts to see that he was released unhurt considering his age and health condition.
A family member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the gunmen stormed the compound while the generator was on and quickly turned off the generator to lure the residents outside.
According to him, “On coming out to find out what happened, the hoodlums attacked me; Mma (Princess Filia) on hearing the noise came out too and they took her away at gun point.”
Reacting to the development, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo, said the command was doing everything possible to get the victims out unhurt.
Irene said they were investigating the abduction of the businessman at Target and Princess Henshaw and would get to the root of the matter.
She, however, disclosed that the command made progress at the weekend as they rescued another businessman who was kidnapped in Akampka LGA.
She assured members of the public to go about their lawful business as detectives were on ground to ensure the safety of the people, especially at this critical COVID-19 pandemic period. (Daily Sun)