Mike Igini, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom has confirmed the kidnap of Otobong Ukpong, serving in Ukanafun Local Government Area office of the commission.
Mr Igini told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Uyo that INEC was making efforts to secure his freedom.
“We are aware of the incident and are making efforts for his release. The most important thing now is his safety,” Mr Igini said.
Similarly, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Macdon Odiko, told NAN that the police had received a report on the kidnap and was acting on the matter.
Mr Odiko said that the Commissioner of Police, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, had visited the area, following series of killings and the recent abduction of two female students of Obong University, a private institution in the area.
NAN learned that Mr Ukpong, who hails from Iwukem village in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, was kidnapped near Government Primary School, Uruk Ata2, on the Ukanfun-Azumini Expressway.
According to the distressed brother, Mbetobong Ukpong, the victim was kidnapped at Uruk Ata2, on Tuesday while on his way to distribute Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to the electorate in line with the REC’s directive.
Mr Ukpong said that the hoodlums blocked the victim at the volatile area of Uruk Ata2, where militants had been laying siege in the recent times.
He said the militants had opened contact with the family, demanding N10 million.
“They used my brother’s phone number to call the family to disclose their ransom but the elders of the family have told them that such demand is outrageous for a largely peasant family to pay,” he said.
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