The police in Enugu State said they have rescued 12 kidnap victims in three local government areas of the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, Daniel Ndukwe, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
Mr Ndukwe said two of the victims were rescued on Wednesday along Enugu-Opi-Nsukka Road after police foiled attempt to kidnap them.
He said the suspected kidnappers reportedly blocked and attacked the victims on a road between Ekwegbe-Agu and Neke-Uno, two communities in Igbo-Etiti and Enugu East local government areas of the state respectively.
He said the rescue operation was in response to a distress call at about 7:10 p.m.
The two victims – all males – were rescued after a shootout with the suspected kidnappers, who had snatched the victims’ vehicles, the police said.
“The criminals were on the verge of kidnapping them. (We) also recovered their vehicles,” said Mr Ndukwe, a deputy superintendent of police.
He said the police also, on 16 September, at about 5:30 p.m., rescued another four kidnap victims from a forest in Okpatu, a community in Udi Local Government Area of the state.
The police spokesperson said the victims were allegedly kidnapped on 15 September at about 4 p.m. in Umulumgbe, another community in the council area.
The rescue operation was conducted with the assistance of the community’s neighbourhood watch group, forest guards and other residents.
Mr Ndukwe said the police also rescued another six kidnap victims from the same forest in Okpatu Community. They were kidnapped on 12 September in Awhum, another community in the Udi Council Area of the state.
“All the victims have since re-united with their families,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmed Ammani, has ordered the deployment of “more intelligence and operational resources” to further fight rising cases of kidnapping in the state, Mr Ndukwe said.
“This is to ensure the security and safety of innocent citizens, especially along major roads in the state,” Mr Ammani said.
The police commissioner urged residents of the state to support the police by giving prompt information about crime and criminals in the state.
Abduction for ransom is now one of the dominant crimes across various Nigerian cities.
Politicians, entrepreneurs, just anyone with good financial worth, including school children are easy targets.