Again, gunmen abduct 11 passengers in Rivers State

•UN envoy urges community policing to tackle insecurity
•U.S. pledges support for anti-terrorism fight

Gunmen have abducted 11 passengers along the Elele axis of East-West road, in Emohua Local Council Area of Rivers State.

This is coming barely two weeks after nine passengers were kidnaped along the Elele-Port Harcourt road, as well as over 15 other persons on the same road.

The Guardian leant that the victims, who were travelling to Ndele-Elele and Ahoada, had on Monday night boarded the bus at Rumuokoro in Obio/Akpor Local Council at around 7:00p.m.

It was learnt that 19 passengers boarded the vehicle, adding that three of them came down at Ndele before the gunmen intercepted the vehicle around Elele Alimini area.

According to one of the lucky passengers, the gunmen seized the bus few minutes after a police checkpoint and forced them into the bush.

He explained that he escaped in the bush and trekked to the expressway to find four others who were rescued by the police.

The state Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, who confirmed the incident, said the police were on the search for the abducted victims.

Meanwhile, a United Nations Ambassador to Nigeria, Mmar Mohammed has asked the Federal Government to adopt community policing to tackle insecurity in the country.

He made the call in Minna, Niger State while donating some money to the old airport quarters, for the construction of a security gate.

He urged the government to strengthen the local vigilance groups, because they were already familiar with the terrain of their communities.

He said: “The local vigilance groups are in a better position to properly secure any community, but the government needs to provide them with weapons. Apart from performing their vigilance duties, government would also use it to create employment.”

Mohammed urged the Federal Government to adopt the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) as a federal policing organisation, given the security challenges in the country.

He said the fear of abuse could be mitigated by an oversight responsibility by the state commissioners of police or a state police regulatory commission.

Meanwhile, the United States yesterday pledged to support the Nigerian Army in the fight against Boko Haram.

Senator Christopher Coons made the pledge yesterday when he led a delegation of United States’ Congress to the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru at Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri.

Meanwhile, the Taraba State Commandant of the VGN, Bappa Jarumi has urged government to equip them to support the fight against insurgency.

Jarumi made the call in Jalingo, the state capital, in an interview with journalists.

He urged the government to provide them with patrol vans and equipment for night operations. The commandant explained that the group had been assisting the security agents in arresting armed robbers and kidnappers.

But, the Kogi State Police Command explained that vigilance groups could not operate without police supervision.

The state commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegu disclosed this at a press conference in Lokoja.

In this article:
Rivers stateZaki Ahmed
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