Ovie Okpare, Warri
Gunmen have abducted a Delta State monarch, HRM. Orhifi Orovwagbarha Agbarha-Ide Ememoh II, the Ovie of Agbarha-Warri Kingdom in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Our correspondent learnt that the Urhobo monarch was abducted on Wednesday along the Ughelli/Asaba Expressway, near Ossissa community in Ndokwa-East Local Government Area of the state, while traveling for a meeting in Asaba, the state capital.
The kidnappers were learnt to have opened line of communication with the Agbarha-Warri Kindgom where they were reported to have demanded for N50m ransoms.
A top chief of the Agbarha-Warri kingdom confirmed the abduction of the traditional ruler when contacted on the telephone late Wednesday evening under a strict condition of anonymity.
The source said the monarch was traveling to Asaba, the state capital, to attend a security summit when his convoy was waylaid by the arms carrying kidnappers and whisked him to an unknown destination.
A senior police officer in the state confirmed the king’s abduction, noting that the hoodlums have also reached out demanding for an unspecified ransom price before the monarch could be released.
The National Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition, National Coordinator, Mr Zik Gbemre also confirmed the abduction, accusing the security operatives in the state of ineptitude, allowing hoodlums to be on the rampage.
According to him, “I can talk about the situation in Warri because NDPC has been inundated with the gradual resurgence of criminals in the area. It shows we are not secure. The impunity with which the criminals are operating with negligible response from the police has become alarming.
“On 28th November, a driver to Chief Tunde Smooth named Emmanuel Ikemefuma Chidubem, was shot dead. The cocky robbers drove with glee, shooting through the Warri AC’S office without response from the police.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Delta State Command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the monarch’s abduction, adding that the commissioner of police, Mr Zanna Ibrahim, was personally leading the rescue operation.
Anianmaka called on the people of the state to help the police with information that would lead to the rescue of the traditional ruler as well as neap the resurgence of kidnapping in the state in the bud.