By Ephraim Oseji
Three members of Urhobo Traditional Council Of Chiefs Lagos, Chiefs Johnson Ojakovo, Omonigho Akpofure and Julius Owanrieta, said they were kidnapped by suspected herdsmen between Ofosu and Ugbogi town along Ore-Benin Expressway on Monday, April 8, 2019.
They were said to be travelling to Delta State to attend a meeting with the Ukoko R’ Ivie of Urhoboland at Olomu in Ughelli South LGA when the incident occurred.
Owanrieta, who spoke on behalf of the kidnapped men, thanked the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, R.L.Ogbon (JP), Ogoni-Oghoro I, for his prompt action which, according to him, facilitated their release from the kidnapper’s den.
“Our gratitude goes to our father, the Ohworode of the Olomu Kingdom for acting urgently which led our release. If not for his majesty, the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom rescued us by financially empowering the Osu R’ Urhobo of Lagos, Chief Vincent Ogheneochuko Ahwi, to meet the demands of the kidnappers, we would have been dead. In fact, the kidnappers had vowed to kill us by Friday if their demand was not met,” he said.
He also thanked the President-General of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Olorogun Moses Taiga, who “promised to defray the cost of our release”.
The Urhobo chief went on, “We equally express our thanks to Osu R’ Urhobo of Lagos, Chief Vincent Ahwi, for taking the risk of going to release us from the kidnappers at their den safely.
He decried the state of insecurity in the country, stressing that it is unfortunate that the Federal Government appears unable to curb the menace.
“Do you know that after our incident, people are kidnapped at the same spot daily? Recently, a girl whose father was killed by kidnappers at that same spot went on social media to lament the state of insecurity on the road. She said there are many corpses of those killed by kidnappers in the bush.
“A few days ago, a lecturer of a university in Okada trying to escape was shot dead by kidnappers while six others were abducted”.
He advised security agencies to do air and road surveillance so that they can flush out the hoodlums terrorising travellers on Ore-Benin Expressway among other major roads across the country.