Some gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have killed one person and abducted many travellers along Ugwogo-Neke Odenigbo Road in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The victim, Cyril Mbah, was said to be going home with his daughter in their vehicle when they ran into the kidnappers who suddenly opened fire on them.
The incident occurred at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
The hoodlums subsequently flagged down another vehicle and abducted a yet-to-be-ascertained number of travellers.
“Chief Cyril Mbah from Neke Odenigbo-Nike was gunned down by suspected kidnappers along the Ugwogo/Isi-Uzo road, near Neke Odenigbo junction,” a witness, Kingsley Odoh, told reporters in Enugu on Saturday.
“Unfortunately, he (Mbah) couldn’t survive the gunshots but nothing happened to his daughter.
“The kidnappers went further, fired and flattened the tyres of another vehicle approaching the scene and successfully whisked away the driver and other people on board. Till now, no one is certain where they are,” Mr Odoh added.
A youth leader in Ugwogo-Nike, who asked not to be named, told PREMIUM TIMES that only Mr Mbah was killed by the kidnappers, contrary to speculations that two were killed in the attack.
The youth leader said the victim died at Ugwogo-Nike Roundabout while he was being taken to a hospital by a vigilante operative, identified as Okenna Okoh, who had gone to rescue them.
“He (Mbah) was kept on a motorcycle and he was shouting, ‘I am dying’ (because he was uncomfortable) before Okenna used the vehicle which the kidnappers had flattened its tyres to carry the man and his daughter to the hospital,” he said.
When contacted on Sunday morning, the police spokesperson in Enugu State, Daniel Ndukwe, confirmed the killing of the victim to PREMIUM TIMES.
“The manhunt operation is underway to apprehend the armed assailants,” Mr Ndukwe, a deputy superintendent of police, said
He, however, said the police in the state were not aware of the abduction of travellers during the attack.
Increased kidnap attacks
This is not the first kidnapping incident around Ugwogo-Nike community in recent times.
Several people, including university students and government officials, have been kidnapped, lately, along Ugwogo-Opi-Ekwegbe Road in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of the state.
The latest attack occurred about three years after many people, including a Catholic reverend sister, were kidnapped along Ugwogo-Neke Odenigbo Road while returning from the burial of a former State House of Assembly member, Chijioke Ugwueze.
The deceased lawmaker, who hailed from Isi-Uzo Local Government Area, died in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Neke Odenigbo shares a boundary with communities in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of the state.
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