30 Suspected Kidnappers Arrested, Imo Traditional Ruler Rescued
Some 30 suspected kidnappers and criminals have been arrested in Imo state, Channels Television can report.
The criminals were arrested during a Monday raid, by a joint security team, on camps in Orsu local government and Uli community in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state.
A traditional ruler who was kidnapped in Okigwe local government area on Sunday, Acho Ndukwe of Ihube autonomous community, was also released during the raid.
Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the other kidnapped traditional ruler of Ihitte Ihube autonomous community, Paul Ogbu, have not been made known.
The gunmen were said to have invaded the palaces at about 12am on Sunday, abducted both monarchs, and set their palaces ablaze.
The incident happened 48 hours after a traditional ruler in Atta autonomous community in Njaba local government area, also of Imo State, was abducted and murdered.
The traditional ruler of Mbutu community who was kidnapped last week was rescued by the police unhurt on Saturday.
Kidnapping is rife in parts of Imo State and the South-East.
Authorities have blamed the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its Eastern Security Network (ESN) members for much of the violent crimes in the region.
Reacting to Monday’s arrests, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma commended security agencies for their work.
According to Uzodinma, the arrests were a sign the new strategy for combating insecurity in the state was working.
“I want to commend the security agencies in Imo State, the DSS, the army, the navy, the police, the civil defense, all of them, for putting their heads together and making sure that, at least, Imo people come home to celebrate Christmas,” the Governor said.
“It has been been a great thing of worry, wondering how entire local governments like Orsu local government would be abandoned in the hands of criminals and cannibals.
“From what we have seen, you will agree with me that these are criminals and bandits who have no future, no plan, who are killing human beings and roasting human beings, eating human beings, cannibals. How else are we supposed to treat these kinds of idiots, if not to ensure that the law takes its course.
“Oftentimes we discuss our strategies and before they will be implemented, it is foiled by the group. Because of mutual suspicion, we have agreed to only discuss at the end of every operation.
“I don’t want to encourage security agencies to tell anybody how they intend to continue this fight. But I know the new strategy is working and my government will give them every support they need to ensure that there is peace in Imo State and then Imo people will be better off for it.”