Unknown gunmen in the early hours of Wednesday abducted Israel Inyanabor, a councillor representing Ewohimi Ward One in Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State.
Mr Inyanabor’s kidnap happened along Ewatto-Ubiaja-Okhuesan Road near Ena River in Esan South-East LGA of the state.
The kidnap of the councillor has reportedly created tension in the community following an earlier abduction of a teacher and his wife, simply identified as Mr and Mrs Aluola, by suspected bandits along the same Ewatto-Ubiaja-Okhuesan Road on Monday.
It was learnt that the abductors of the couple are asking for N15 million as ransom from the family before they would be released.
A resident of Ewohimi, Festus Ehigiator, disclosed that the scene of the latest kidnap incident was the same spot where the teacher and his wife were kidnapped.
Mr Ehigiator said the kidnapped councillor was driving along Ewatto-Ubiaja-Okhuesan Road when the suspected armed men suddenly emerged from a nearby bush and opened fire.
He said the sound of the gun compelled the council lawmaker to stop abruptly, adding that the gunmen seized the victim and took him into the nearest forest.
Mr Ehigiator said, “I am not sure if the hoodlums have contacted the family of the victim over likely negotiation for payment of ransom.”
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the news of the kidnapped councillor threw the staff of the council into confusion.
A council staff, who asked not to be named as she has no permission to talk to journalists, said the abduction of the lawmaker disrupted administrative activities in the area.
“A few council staff have been discussing the spate of kidnapping in the area and it has become worrisome earlier today. There have been several kidnappings and other criminal activities around the Ena River on Ewatto-Ubiaja-Okhuesan Road in recent times.
“The sloppy nature of the road does not make motorists see the criminals who normally hide in the bush around the river valley,” she said, adding, “In the past 48 hours, two kidnapping cases have been reported at the same spot while the victims are yet to be released.”
A resident of the area, Beatrice Aghedo, appealed to the state government and the police to deploy operatives of the joint security task force to the area.
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Mrs Aghedo said hoodlums have turned their forest into a shelter for kidnapped victims while awaiting ransom.
“We are also calling on the local government council chairman to set up a strong vigilante group in the area,” she said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, declined comment on the matter when he was contacted.
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