Friday, 4 January 2013

Police get deadline over kidnapped kids in Ebonyi State written by Leo Sobechi(The Guardian)

VILLAGERS from three communities, Ovumte, Ayaragu and Ekembe, in Ishiagu Council of Ebonyi State, have given a seven-day ultimatum to the state police command to effect the release of seven children allegedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the area.

The villagers gave the ultimatum after staging a peaceful protest to express their displeasure over the apparent silence to the kidnap at Ivo Divisional Police Headquarters, where they charged the police to unmask those behind the wicked act so as to avoid unnecessary crisis in the council.

Between December 23 and 24, 2012, some unknown gunmen sneaked into the three villages and, after unleashing mayhem, abducted seven children aged between three and five years. But the protesters, comprising mainly women and youths, wondering why the police were yet to act on the incident, marched through the major roads of the council chanting war songs and warned the police and other security agencies not to dismiss the matter with a wave of the hand.

They declared: “Our villages are under siege, armed abductors have taken over our villages and we live in fear of the unknown. We are giving the police one week to uncover those behind the act. They should handle this matter with dispatch and greater commitment.”

However, a source within the Ivo Divisional Police Headquarters told journalists in confidence that one person has been arrested in connection with the incident, adding: the “police are on top of the situation, we have made one arrest and investigation is still going on and soon all those involved will be in our net.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ebonyi State Police Command, Sylvester Igbo, confirmed the incident, noting also that one suspect (name withheld) had been arrested while investigation was on to apprehend the others and rescue the children.