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Wanted dead or alive

Posted by By PETRUS OBI, ABAKALIKI on 2007/03/21 | Views: 1664 |

Wanted dead or alive


When DSP Wilfred Ekpe wedded last December he expected to have a blissful marriage. His honeymoon was, however, cut short when he was drafted to the troubled Onicha and Igboeze communities in Onicha Local Government area of Ebonyi State. Ever since, he has not been seen. He and other cops were said to have been kidnapped while on duty.

* Police seek kidnapped cops in Anambra village

When DSP Wilfred Ekpe wedded last December he expected to have a blissful marriage. His honeymoon was, however, cut short when he was drafted to the troubled Onicha and Igboeze communities in Onicha Local Government area of Ebonyi State. Ever since, he has not been seen. He and other cops were said to have been kidnapped while on duty.

The Assistant Inspector General of Police in-charge of Zone 6, Calabar, Mr. Ade Ajakaiye, said all efforts of the police to rescue the hostages have failed. "I had to leave my office to come to Abakaliki to co-ordinate action with the state commissioner of police, Mr. Adanaya Gaya, due to the magnitude of the situation," he said.

Not even an ultimatum issued by Governor Sam Egwu at a meeting with the police and leaders of the Onicha-Igboeze Youth Association to, within 24 hours, produce the missing policemen and also to dismantle all road blocks in the area, yielded any result.
In a chat with newsmen in Abakaliki the AIG said the police were being forced to take drastic action, insisting that their men must be returned dead or alive.

"You know these men have families, and they are bread winners. Think of what their families have been going through since they were reported missing over a month ago," he lamented
Adekaiye said the police had talked with the boys, "but they are insisting they are not holding our men. Yet, we were the ones that sent our men there and we know that five of them were kidnapped, one escaped with machete cuts. Two others were freed by the youths, but they have refused to tell us anything about the DSP and a sergeant."

In a briefing a week earlier, the state commissioner of police, Mr. Adanaya Gaya, recalled how he received reports of disturbances of public peace from the DPO, Onicha. According to him, he learnt "that houses were extensively vandalized, including that of the deputy governor. I sent some people there to restore normalcy.

"Two of our men were kidnapped and we sent another group to rescue. In the process, three more persons were abducted. Three others, including a civilian, received severe machete cuts on their heads. I went there myself to confirm that five of our men were kidnapped. We went with the military. After negotiations, they released two of them. The remaining two are yet to be seen," he said.

At that time, the CP said, it appeared the hostages were constantly relocated from one place to another, adding that the police were yet to get a clue on their whereabouts.
He said the police were searching for DSP Wilfed Ekpe and Sergeant Ekpeyong Effiong kidnapped by the irate youths of Onicha and Igboeze.

"Iím sorry that up till now, we have not found them. We presume they are still alive even though we have information as to different way they were killed by the mob in Onicha. Thatís the reason I am here. I had to leave my office in Calabar to coordinate action with the CP. We are still looking for them. Whatever it takes for us to know where our men are we will do it, whether they are dead or alive."
He insisted that the men must be retrieved. "If they are dead, we want to see their corpses. If they are alive we must get them back," he said.

Meanwhile, the police have reasons to believe that some militant youths from the Niger Delta are being used in the Onicha uprising. Commissioner of Police, Gaya, told reporters that the command had so far arrested 13 youths believed to be part of the crisis, pointing out that out of those arrested three came from the Niger Delta area.

At least, four persons have been killed since February 2nd, when youths of Onicha went on rampage protesting alleged insensitivity of government to provide basic infrastructure to the people of Onicha, home of the Ebonyi State deputy governor, Professor Chigozie Ogbu.
The angry youths had seized a military truck that was used to transport soldiers to the area and destroyed household property of the deputy governor. The property of their traditional ruler and state chairman of the Traditional Rulersí Council, Dr. Agom Eze, and the Special Adviser to the governor on political matters, Mr. John Onwe, among other prominent sons of the area were not spared.

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Comments (2)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown