Collins Adikoko, a deputy paramount Ruler in Ikeinghenbiri, a coastal settlement in the creeks at Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state, has been abducted by gunmen.
Family sources told our reporter that three gunmen stormed the premises of the victim at about 2 a.m. on Saturday and whisked him away in a waiting speedboat to an unknown destination.
“They arrived the residence of the traditional ruler in the early hours of Saturday.
“They were three in number that we saw clearly, two were wearing the uniforms of Civil Defence and one was wearing the reflective jackets used by youth vigilante.
“They fired several warning shots and abducted the monarch and escaped in a waiting speedboat anchored in the nearby waterside,” the source said.
The Police Public Relations Officer for Bayelsa, Asinim Butwat, who confirmed the incident, said the Police had launched a manhunt for the unknown gunmen in a bid to rescue the victim and arrest the culprits.
Emmanuel Atewe, Commander of The Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Pulo shield assured that the hoodlum would be apprehended shortly.
Mr. Atewe, a Major General, said the task force had received reports of the incident and activated its security network in the creeks to fish out the kidnappers.
The abduction of the monarch occurred amidst worsening insecurity and what appears a show of insensitivity to the plight of coastal communities in the hands of sea pirates and kidnappers.
An official of the state government said the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, was busy “receiving security award from in the confines of government house when kidnappers were have a field day in the water ways of Bayelsa”.
The Bayelsa State Government and its security outfit “Operation Doo Akpo were honoured with Africa’s top security awards in recognition of “their consistency and record of service delivery in security duties”.
A representative of Security Watch Africa, Patrick Agbambu over the weekend presented the awards to Mr. Dickson, the former Special Adviser on Security, Bernard Kenebai and the State owned security outfit, code named “Operation Doo Akpo” during the 25th State Security Council Meeting at Government House, Yenagoa.
Governor Dickson was presented with the award of the best security/safety conscious state/provincial/regional Governor in Africa, while Mr. Kenebai received the Golden Star award for Security Service in Nigeria.
The award for the best crime bursting/ security squad in West Africa went to Operation Door-Akpor.
The maritime workers union in the state had withdrawn boat shuttle services in the last quarter of 2014 when the incidents of attacks and abduction heightened and became unbearable.